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Hodgson - The Fans Helped to Pull us Through

17 February 2019

Following his side's victory over Doncaster Rovers today, Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has spoken in his post-match press conference to assess the clash, praise Palace fans and discuss the FA Cup.

He spoke on the following matters.

Doncaster Rovers:

"It was a very tough game. We were prepared for a very tough game, we certainly knew that Doncaster Rovers were a good football team. We've seen enough and done enough of our research to know that and luckily, I was able to really imprint that on the minds of the players so there was no question of any complacency on our part. In fact, they were every bit as good as I thought they might be or would be, perhaps even slightly better.

"I thought both teams tried to play good football. There were some good moves from both sides and we were able, not just us but Doncaster too, to get the ball down and under some control. So in the end, we're delighted to come through on the right side and go into the quarter-finals. I was just saying to Grant McCann, he should be really proud of his team and I don't think they could have done any more to win this game than they did."

The two goals:

"It [Jeffrey Schlupp's] was a wonderful goal. You don't see many goals where people start off in their own half and run a whole half of the field and shrug off challenges and then strike it in like he did. It was an excellent goal. The second goal was a good goal too and that came at a very good moment just before half-time.

"I'd have been happy to go in 1-0, let alone 2-0 up. And of course it did give us that cushion in the second half, we were able to make one or two changes which shored us up a little bit better and as the game wore on, it was always going to be a bit more desperation stuff from Doncaster. They'd shown up to that point that they were really trying to work their way through us."

The Palace fans:

"We're happy to be through [and] I think our fans deserve great credit today. I thought their support was really quite exceptional. Playing away here with 15,000 people in the stadium the bulk of whom support Doncaster Rovers, for them to be able to match the noise levels like they did for such long periods of time, they deserve a great pat on the back and I think they helped pull us through."

The Palace players:

"They worked very, very hard. Even the players who didn't have the best of games worked very, very hard to make certain that we gave nothing away. But I'm fortunate that I've come to a club where it's path of the course that players are like that.

"We obviously work at it but I've been getting a great response from this group of players and I think that it would have been very easy for a team to come here today and meet this Doncaster Rovers without perhaps that gutsy, determined and focussed approach that we had and [we] could have quite easily slipped up because Doncaster were quite easily good enough to beat them."

The FA Cup:

"The fact is, we're a team that's between the middle and the bottom of the table and the teams that have gone through are sort of the teams around us and the bottom line is that sooner or later, you're going to meet Man City or one of Man United or Chelsea. It's just a question of when that happens because then you're going to have a real tough tie on your hands.

"The important thing I think is to take each game as it comes and what was important for me is that we had a home game against a team in League One and that was a bit of a non-event, Grimsby were fantastic, they put up an incredible fight but they only had 10 men. But then we had Tottenham Hotspur and now Doncaster so it's not been easy. The next one won't be easy either but we're happy to be in the draw.

"Our priority and our focus still remains the same, that we would like to do well in the cup but we would like even more to stay in the Premier League. That always remains the priority."

His approach pre-match:

"I'm nervous, apprehensive and anxious before every game we play. I don't care if it's a fifth-round FA Cup tie against Doncaster Rovers or an away game at Manchester City or Old Trafford. I don't vary my approach or my feelings. We do our level best to work hard in the training sessions to make certain the players are ready for the game that's going to be played. I don't think you can do much more than that."

Want to read how Palace got on today? Check-out our report from the clash now.

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