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Hodgson Praises Medical Staff for Fit Squad to Face Grimsby Town

5 January 2019

Roy Hodgson has spoken today in his pre-match press conference ahead of Crystal Palace's Emirates FA Cup tie with Grimsby Town, delivering a positive injury update in the process.

When asked about the recovery of forward Christian Benteke, Hodsgon remarked that the Belgian has been training with the first-team squad but that his recovery is still underway.

He said, "Benteke trained today, he's been back in training for a while. Today was the first real occasion that he joined the squad and trained from start to finish. A couple of times, he's joined in with the early parts of training and dropped out when things became more physical but today he joined in."

Turning his attention to the rest of the Palace squad, Hodgson revealed that he has a fit side to pick from for Saturday, which will come as a relief to Eagles fans.

"We don't actually have any injury problems which is incredible after such a long period of play over Christmas. That's a credit to our sports science department and medical staff that they've given me a full squad to pick for tomorrow's game."

But with an almost entirely fully fit side to pick from, Hodgson will now face the issue of who to play in this cup tie. He took a moment to explain that, whatever changes are made, Palace are in the match to win it.

He remarked, "You'll see a changed side but it's not just a case of bringing through younger players. We can't keep top, international players forever on the sidelines because we've been lucky enough to have a very stable and consistent first 11. There are a lot of players who are more than good enough to play in the Crystal Palace first team but they haven't had a chance.

"I'm not using it [tomorrow's game] as an experimental occasion. I want to put a team out on the field that I think will win the game. We know that will never be easy because Grimsby will come here looking to upset the apple cart."

You can buy tickets for the Eagles' match against the Mariners here now and join almost 6,000 Grimsby fans and also a singing section at Selhurst Park.

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