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First Team

Hodgson on how Benteke sets perfect example to squad

22 February 2021

Roy Hodgson praised his side’s “guts and determination” in securing a dramatic victory at Brighton in the dying seconds, after a dogged defensive display.

“I’m very pleased,” he said in his post-match interview, “we played against a team that’s very technical, that moved the ball quickly. We knew we had to work very hard defensively as a midfield unit and a back unit, to limit the number of times they got in our penalty area.

“We did that extremely well in the first-half. We weren’t able to get on the ball as much as we’d like but when you have had a few bad results it does affect confidence in that area.

“In the second-half they had more play in and around our penalty area, but I thought the back four did unbelievably well, aided by the midfield, and we got the bonus of scoring in the last minute.”

Hodgson was keen to emphasise the significance of the result both for Christian Benteke, whose last minute volley secured the points, and for Palace’s season going forwards.

“I’m really pleased with the guts and determination and fight the team showed, and as a result we come away with the ultimate points total from the game.

“It should make a big difference [to Benteke]. That is what all coaches and managers expect of the players.

“We have a squad and we can only pick 11. The only answer to that is to make certain that when you get your chance, you take your chance. All too often players would prefer to feel sorry for themselves, rather than do what Christian did tonight.

“That’s how it should be.”

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