Speaking in his post-match press conference following Crystal Palace's loss against Southampton, Roy Hodgson said that, while he wouldn't use 'tiredness' as justification for defeat, he does feel that missing six key players for several weeks has taken its toll on the squad.
Hodgson said: "We can’t use that [tiredness] as an excuse. We had the same rest period between games as the other teams in the league. I think it’s more of a question of we’ve had this period where the same XI have had to fight through games, some quite tough games. I think it caught up with us a little bit today.
"I’m thinking of recovering six players. Six players is a lot to recover in a squad and we’re not just talking about six players who never play. We’re talking about Christian Benteke, Andros Townsend, Mamadou Sakho, Jeffrey Schlupp, Patrick van Aanholt and Luka Milivojevic. All these guys are guys who normally play in the team. If you like, they’ll be new players by the time they come back because we’ve been doing without them for the last four or five weeks."
And seeking to explain how Palace tried to affect the game having conceded just minutes after the half-time break, Hodgson said 'we did what we could do' with relatively thin cover on the bench.
"We had three senior players on the bench," he explained. "We put Connor Wickham on, we put Max Meyer on who was recovering from injury, we put him on and of course we put Joel Ward who is returning from injury. I think we did what we could do but the second goal was a massive blow."
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