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Bournemouth victory "ranks highly" as Hodgson praises "electric" atmosphere

5 December 2019

Speaking at his press conference ahead of the trip to Watford on Saturday, Roy Hodgson reflected on events that happened less than 48 hours previously, with the Eagles rising to fifth at the time with a 10-man victory over Bournemouth.

Hodgson was full of praise for the famous Selhurst Park atmosphere that had SE25 rocking, no more so than when the Eagles needed it most when Mamadou Sakho was sent-off early on in the first-half: "It ranks very highly [in terms of games during my time at Palace], partly because of the atmosphere in the stadium. I think the way the players reacted to the sending off and injury to Patrick van Aanholt, and the way they went about playing the game to ensure we didn’t lose, I think that transmitted itself to the people on the terraces.

"In this particular game they got behind the team and the atmosphere was quite electric. And I think that enabled us, in some ways, to compensate for the loss of a player, because everyone was behind the team and the team was working so hard to also compensate for the loss of a player. In the end the last 10/15 minutes, when you think you should be hanging on to a game, we had some very good chances to increase the lead."

As well as praising the fans, Hodgson commented on the performance of Cheikhou Kouyaté, who dropped back in alongside James Tomkins in Sakho's absence: "[Kouyaté did] an excellent job, that he does so often for Senegal. He’s capable of playing in both positions, but because we have so many good centre-backs we use him in midfield but that’s not to say he’s not a very competent defender."

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