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First Team

Tomkins reflects on positives after making return v Leicester

28 December 2020

James Tomkins returned to Crystal Palace's starting lineup against Leicester City, having spent the last 10 months returning to full fitness.

The Palace centre-back helped guide his teammates to a well-earned point against Leicester City, playing a full 90 minutes against the Foxes.

First Team

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He spoke with Premier League Productions post-match to reflect on a positive second-half performance and his own return.

"I love it," he said. "It’s brilliant to be back and it’s been a long time coming, really. Ten months out of the game is not ideal when you’ve got to get up to tempo in the Premier League.

"It’s a very fast and energetic league so it’s important I got that first 90 minutes under my belt and hopefully I can continue.

"That second-half performance, there were so many positives in that. We had a right good go, we pressed them so much better than we did first-half, taking chances. It just showed what we’re about, that second-half. We need to keep that going and take it into the next game."

But Tomkins also looked back over 45 less encouraging minutes, praising the Eagles' reaction to a tame first-half.

"We weren’t really at it in the first-half," he said. "I think everyone was a little bit nervous coming off the back of a 7-0 and 3-0. The lads were a bit down about that and it showed really in the first-half.

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"Ray Lewington gave us a little bit of a talking to and said we are a lot better a team than we were showing and, in the second-half, we proved we’re a lot better and deservedly got the goal.

"We were a little bit disappointed not to walk away with all three points. It’s a great response, that second-half.

"They’re very sharp players and when [Jamie] Vardy’s coming on and I’m playing my first game in 10 months, it gets you going. They’re good up top and that’s why they are where they are."

Finally, Tomkins found praise for goalkeeper, Vicente Guaita, who saved Kelechi Iheanacho's early penalty to keep the Eagles level.

Having been penalised for felling Luke Thomas, Tomkins said: "He’s a good goalkeeper. He’s been brilliant ever since he came to Palace. He saved me that time and hopefully I can repay the favour at some point.

"He’s been brilliant. It was a great save and I was just hoping VAR wouldn’t ask them to take it again so there was a sigh of relief."

READ NEXT: Hodgson reveals Lewington's 'apoplectic' half-time message and recent player meeting

Keep an eye on Palace TV for post-match reaction and free highlights of this clash. Either click here or 'Palace TV' within the app.

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