The manager discussed the depth of his squad at his pre-Brentford press conference and, while admitting that injuries have left him short in terms of experience on the bench so far this season, they have also opened doors to a number of Palace’s bright young talents.
With the recently-redeveloped Palace Academy based just over the road from the first-team training ground at Copers Cope, Hodgson explained how he is never short of numbers during sessions – and how that generates opportunities for the club’s stars of the future.
Hodgson said: “If your squad is relatively tight and you haven’t got 25 or 30 players all contracted to the club, if you’ve got a slightly tighter squad than that… I would expect them to be motivated by it.
“They [the younger players] have certainly got a lot of attention during this pre-season period and this first couple of games, because they’re the ones who have been shouldering the burden of getting us through the games. I’m more than happy with that.
“We’ve still got one or two coming back which I think will make us stronger. We probably don’t need the size of the squad that some of the teams playing in Europe do, because there’s no doubt once you get into two-games-a-week period – especially if you’re expected to go a long way in the competition – you need a bigger squad.
“We need the right size of squad. We need a good squad, with good quality players, where we know what our team is and we know where our players pushing for places are.
“That should leave places in the squad for someone like [Jesurun] Rak-Sakyi in particular or [Naouirou] Ahamada… David Ozoh was a player brought into the squad from our Academy. He’s been with us in pre-season – he could be interesting.
“We have a centre-forward, Ademola [Ola-Adebomi], who’s trained with us a few times. If the squad doesn’t expand with seniors to any great extent, there’ll be places for these guys towards the bottom part of the squadm and that’s a great motivation for them to show us what they can do every day and try and knock people off their perch.”