Palace manager Roy Hodgson said his side’s performance in the goalless draw with Everton on the opening day of the Premier League season was a “proper Crystal Palace performance”.
Hodgson was sufficiently buoyed by the efforts of his thirteen men, stating: “If we show the same determination, fight and guts that we did through the whole of the game today, it will stand us in good stead. I would put this down as a proper Crystal Palace performance. Maybe on paper, the odds were stacked against us, but we didn’t allow the odds to damage our chances of getting a result from the game.”
Asked if he thought a point apiece was a fair reflection of the game, he said: “I think if you look at the goal chances, yes. As the game went on we got better, and if any team in the second half was going to win the game it would have been us. I thought we established a lot of control, even more so in the second half. We had four or five golden opportunities, and they had a similar number. I think it was a case of two well matched teams, organized teams who aren’t easy to break down. A 0-0 was always on the cards, unless someone can find a way of conjuring up a bit of magic to break the deadlock.”
Hodgson was also pressed on Wilfried Zaha’s performance following the transfer speculation surrounding the Ivorian forward. The manager said: “He handled it very well – the crowd helped him. The crowd gave him a great reception, it was nice to have him available to give another dimension to our play.
“He did well, he set us up for an incredible goal chance that could have won it for us at the end. I think he’s a bit rusty – there’s no doubt about that. When the player comes back after three weeks away – having a holiday after the African Cup of Nations – he’s going to need a little bit of time to find his true form. He’s a phenomenal athlete when it comes to fitness – he was fit enough to play in the game. To find the form he’ll want to find, he’ll need a week or two – but it was good to give him the chance to come on and give him those minutes. And he almost helped us to the three points.
“That fact is that the situation has been and gone, and I’m sure Wilf will make certain he brings his straw to the water and helps us have a good season, just like he has done in the last two seasons.”
For more post-match reaction, head to Palace TV on the official Palace app.