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Hodgson: 'I can be very proud of the team'

6 April 2019

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson cut a relieved figure following his side's well-earned win over Newcastle United this afternoon.

He had every right to be, too, with Crystal Palace now sitting on 39 points: 12th in the Premier League table with an 11 point advantage over Cardiff City in the relegation zone.

Speaking after the match, the Eagles boss praised his team - paying particular attention to the talismanic pair who secured the game's only goal: Wilfried Zaha and Luka Milivojevic.

On the match, Hodgson expressed pride and satisfaction with the result, saying: "It was a very important game; hard fought. I thought that I can be very, very proud of the team's performance. I thought that we dealt with the attacking threat that Newcastle most certainly have.

"They’re very good at crossing the ball and getting bodies in the box and competing for those crosses. I thought it was a sterling effort from our back four and our goalkeeper and the midfield players helping us out as well to make certain we kept a clean sheet today.

"On the counter-attack or even at the start of the game, not on the counter-attack, we looked quite dangerous. We were constantly threatening and looking like we might score the goal."

And then turning his attention specifically to two of his stand-out players, Hodgson found time to praise Zaha and Milivojevic in turn.

"Luckily for us once again Wilf Zaha came to the fore and did what he does so well: dribbling past people in the penalty area and provoking the foul which gives Milivojevic - who’s been quite exceptional at taking penalties and scoring them to give us the goal and the victory."

But on Milivojevic, who netted his 10th penalty of the season, Hodgson revealed that despite the Serbian's precision, spot-kicks still don't bring the manager a moment to relax.

He said: "I'm never confident to be honest! I've been so lucky with penalty takers: Dan Murphy at Fulham and now with Luka. So really and truly I should just be sitting back quite comfortably saying: ‘well, we’re 1-0 up’ but unfortunately because the goals are often match winning goals, I think the only time [I can relax is] if ever we're winning by a three goal margin and we get a penalty and Luka's going to take it.

"Then I would definitely sit back and say: ‘right, that’s all over, we’re four-up’. Ask him his secret, he might not tell you..."

For a full interview with Hodgson and more post-match reaction, head over to Palace TV now either by clicking here or on 'Palace TV' in the official Palace app.


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