Roy Hodgson admitted that he was pleased with every single one of his players after they put in an excellent display to beat West Bromwich Albion 3-0 in the Carabao Cup.
Goalscorers Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt ensured Palace would be represented into the fourth round draw after an impressive display against the Baggies, and while that pair got on the scoresheet, Hodgson didn’t want to single any player out for individual praise but instead laud his whole team for their excellent performance.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Hodgson discussed a number of topics, including:
The game: “I must say it was a really good team performance. I thought we were excellent in every aspect of the game and it’s not often you can say that as a coach. I try to be quite honest about our performances but I’d find it very hard to fault anything in our performance tonight.
“Our defending was excellent as shown by the clean sheet and the very few chances they created, and our attacking play was at times a really good class, especially the combination play in and around the penalty area and the work in the final third. It got us three goals but could easily have got us many more.”
Good performance from fringe players: “What you want to see is players who have been on the substitutes bench waiting for the opportunity making certain that I take note of their performances. The only two that have been playing for us on a regular basis are the two full-backs and one of them started as a substitute, so for the others they’ve got to be delighted that they played so well.
“I wasn’t disappointed with anyone tonight, I was really happy with everyone. Some gave the performance that I have been expecting and hoping to see them give, and that’s very satisfying.”
Preparation pre-match: “It’s good to win games away from home without conceding, and with goals into the bargain, so everything from tonight’s performance was just what I wanted. We prepared really seriously, and even though we had the game on Saturday we trained yesterday and were working on some of the football that you saw here, so it’s really good when you get that carry over and the players take the message on board.
“Ours was simple – this is a great opportunity for us to play well and stake your claim, but also for us to advance in the competition. We had to go all the way to Swansea and to here and you don’t do those things without wishing to advance, but we knew to do that then we would have to play well.
“We weren’t playing a team that were going to let us play comfortably, they were going to work and make it hard for us. They had a strong team out so we weren’t talking about an under-23 team out there tonight.”
Is the competition a priority?: “No, that would be very dishonest of me to say that because then people like Mamadou Sakho, James Tomkins, Wilf Zaha, Luka and Macca would have been playing. We do see it as a competition we take very seriously.
“The two games we’ve played in the competition means the players are quite entitled to say that if they can do it at Swansea or West Bromwich Albion away, then why can’t they do it to Premier League teams too?”
Good to score some goals?: “At the moment we aren’t desperately worried about the fact that we played 0-0 against Newcastle and didn’t take the chances that came our way because that happens in football and you have to accept that. We believe that we have enough in our locker and players that are capable of posing problems for the opposition defence, and those goals will come.”