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First Team

Hodgson explains aims before each game and approach to substitutions

21 February 2020

Roy Hodgson has expressed a quiet optimism about Crystal Palace’s attacking talent for their upcoming final 12 games of the 2019/20 season.

The Palace manager explained that his primary focus is to collect the points required to “make sure Crystal Palace fans are watching Crystal play against Premier League opposition next season.”

He went on to address the Eagles’ attacking prowess, with his squad set to compete against another fairly relatively low-scoring top flight side in Newcastle.

He said: “We don’t have many 6-5s these days, do we? Most games seem to be 1-0 or 2-0 events and I don’t see any particular event on the horizon to suggest this [v Newcastle] won’t be that type of game. 

“Both teams know how to defend and both teams are fully aware that once you concede a goal it’s very hard to score at the other end.”

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But, he added: “The only stats that interest me are the points we get per game and our position in the table.

“When we come off the field, how many points have we got from this game? I see the global picture, we work hard every game knowing we need to work hard every game to score goals and keep them [the opposition] out. 

“Every game I hope we do it right at both ends. Of course you don’t play games in your imagination but I can certainly assure our fans we work very hard on both aspects [attacking and defending]. We have the firepower to score more goals than we have so far.”

Hodgson continued to express his confidence in the team, saying: “We had our turning point from being very, very successful to the last three games being unsuccessful. We’d like to put an end to that little sequence and start winning and drawing more games than we have in the last few weeks. 

“We started so well and have had the brakes put on particularly by injury and partly by misfortune. At one stage when we were flying high we were hoping to finish in the top half and, at the moment, I don’t see any reason why we should abandon that hope.”

Turning to a different subject, the Crystal Palace manager discussed his recent approach to using substitutes, commenting: “There have been a lack of options in recent weeks, very much so, because the injury list has been so big. Like all managers I’m more than happy to use the bench available if I think the players on that bench are able to help us out. 

“But recently it’s been defenders or it's been Under-23 players with very little experience and the games haven’t been games I feel it’s right to throw them into the fray. If all goes well tomorrow we’ll have 16 senior outfielders and two senior goalkeepers so that’ll be the first time we’ve had an 18 with no players coming back from injury or Under-23s.”

Hodgson's press conference was streamed live via Palace TV, which you can watch for free by downloading the official Palace app here.

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