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Hodgson gives opinion on squad fitness and hails 'fantastic' McArthur

20 June 2020

Speaking with Palace TV after Crystal Palace's storming return to Premier League football, Roy Hodgson provided his views on the squad fitness and hailed engine-room midfielder, James McArthur.

"The player fitness was quite good," he said. "I was surprised. We only had the three weeks. We didn’t do much in terms of contact football before we got the green light. Before that, we were just running up and down the field.

"We only had one practice game and that was only 3x30 minutes. No player in that game got more than 65/70 minutes. I think it was really good today.

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"We took Christian [Benteke] off because of the slight concern that his hamstring might have been tightening a bit. We took Macca [James McArthur] and Luka [Milivojevic] off because they were tiring a bit. But if I needed to keep them on, I could have kept all three of them on."

Sticking with McArthur, who played his 200th game for Palace tonight, Hodgson praised a "fantastic" and "underrated" member of his team.

He said: "He’s fantastic. He’s one of the most underrated players. I don’t think he’s underrated by people within the Premier League, other managers and coaches. They see what a good player he is and what a good job he does for the team.

"Sometimes those players are underrated, the hard work and all the good things they do are eclipsed a bit by the more flamboyant players.

"But on that subject, Wilf [Zaha] and all of the front players were superb. Yes, they’re flamboyant and have skill and pace but they were very sensible… If we can keep doing that, it might be a nice end to the season."

Hodgson's full interview and press conference will be available to watch in full alongside Eddie Howe's, post-match reaction and full match highlights on Palace TV. Just click here or 'Palace TV' within the official app to enjoy!

READ NEXT: Report: Eagles' assured return worth the wait

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