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First Team

Hodgson Expresses Pride in his Squad Following West Ham Draw

9 February 2019

Roy Hodgson reflected on a hard-fought match for the Eagles when speaking in his post-match press conference today following Crystal Palace's 1-1 draw with West Ham United.

He expressed his satisfaction with the team's performance and lamented on not having taken more from the game. Here's what he had to say.

On fighting back

"Obviously, when you’re losing 1-0, it’s hard to get back in the game against the team that scored the first goal. [They] quite often go on to continue to protect that lead or even add to it and win the game."

On Palace's performance

"I did think that our performance throughout the game, but in particular in the second half, was really good. I think it would have been a bit of a travesty if we’d got nothing from the game.

"Given the chances that we’d created and the opportunities, 17 I think, given the number of times Fabianski had to made good saves or defenders had to make good blocks, I think the one goal we got was a pretty poor reward for our efforts."

On luck, referees and disappointment

"There is an element I suppose of disappointment, where the performance that definitely merited three points only got one. But it’s tempered I suppose by the fact that for a long period of time we were a goal down

"I didn’t think we were lucky with a lot of decisions because I’d actually said on a few occasions to the linesman or fourth official who were close to me, I gave my opinion on certain decisions. I didn’t want to do that behind the ref’s back, so I just made it clear to him that, look, I’d been moaning a little bit about some of the things that have gone on today but I want you to hear that from me, face to face and not when you go into your room and hear from your fourth official or linesman that I’d been moaning about decisions.

"The guy’s a very good referee and I think Premier League refereeing standards are enormously high. But sometimes there are decisions made and quite often, there are varying opinions on those between the two benches and that will always be the case. In my opinion, we were quite hard done by."

On his thoughts during the match

"I can tell you what went through my mind: I was thinking, if this continues, if we continue to push and work hard even after those two misses and we lose 1-0, I’d go into the changing room after the game and tell the players how well they played. It was nicer to do that having drawn the game 1-1, but it would not have changed my thoughts unless, of course, in the last 20 minutes of the game we’d suddenly not started to play well.

"I was thinking to myself, ‘if they carry on like this, whether we equalise or not, this is a very, very good team performance.’ We need good team performances, we need to be able to play at the level of the Premier League against whoever we meet, be it Liverpool away or West Ham at home.

"I think that’s exactly what we’re doing and that gives me a lot of comfort because there are a lot of games still to play and if we play like we have for the previous part of the season, I really can’t see us having enormous difficulties towards the end of the season. I can even continue to hope that these performances can lift us into the top half of the table."

On Michy Batshuayi

[Batshuayi needs to] Keep doing what he’s doing, I thought his performance was good. He was looking to get shots away and, in his brief period of time on the field, he probably had five or six shots. He was certainly working hard to get behind the defence which is what we want from him, we want him getting into those positions. We want him to be confident enough to take on those shots.

"I thought the introduction of Michy and later Max were good additions because they were obviously replacing, in the case of James McArthur, someone who’s worked so very hard for 75-odd minutes that it was nice to get the fresh legs and to put on someone who not only had the fresh legs but also had a lot of skill when he was on."

On the Palace squad's ability

"My perception is that I think I’ve got a very good football team, they’ve showed it time and time again this season. They showed it with bells on today against a team that should have beaten Liverpool on Monday night. Certainly we should have beaten them. So, I think personally that I’m entitled to believe in this team and to have faith in this team and to believe that this team should be less concerned about the teams below them than the teams above them.

"We’ve given away so many points previously, not through bad performances. I suppose that I’ve differentiated between performance and points because we don’t have as many points as our performances perhaps deserve. The fact is, you’ll have to allow me to either look upwards or look downwards because that is my prerogative."

For the rest of the post-match reaction, head over to Palace TV now. Or, if you're reading in the app, you can just click 'Palace TV.'


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