Roy Hodgson has given his verdict on Crystal Palace’s defeat away at Brighton.
The manager told Sky Sports: “It was a bad start. That’s the last thing you really want – to be a goal down against Brighton, who are a very good team at home – but I thought in the first-half they outplayed us. We didn’t really get to grips with them in that half, and they were pretty much in control for that half.
“The two goals which came in quick succession really made life almost impossible for us at half-time – how are we going to get back from this? – but I thought in the second-half the team did make a good effort to try and get back from it.
“We played better in the second-half and made it much harder for them to create chances. We even got a goal ourselves, so the fourth goal was a particularly bitter blow.
"But the worst thing today was the injuries. We’re already without [Ebere] Eze. [Michael] Olise we knew could only play in the second-half of the game and when he did play he’s picked up an injury.
“Marc Guéhi picked up an injury too, so that’s three important players who weren’t able to play in the game, and then we’ve got two guys debuting for the team as well, so it wasn’t the best game to put those debutants in, but I’ve got to say I thought both of those players did quite well.”
On Olise, Hodgson explained: “He took part in the training yesterday and we were told that it’s not a good idea to start him, but he’s okay for the bench and you can use him on the bench, so that’s what we did.
“There’s no point me talking about hindsight. Of course, if someone had said ‘if you put him on and he’s going to last nine minutes and get injured’, I wouldn’t have done so, but we put him on because we thought he was able to play and we’d been given the green light that he could play in the second-half, not starting the game, so we wanted to get one of our better players on the field.”
On Eze’s injury, Hodgson noted: “The scan results show there is a tear in his muscle. Hopefully it’s not a major one, but it’s there, so I can’t say I’m super optimistic, but these are things we have to live with.”
And with regards to the two Palace debutants, Hodgson said of Wharton: “He showed why we’ve bought him. It was a baptism of fire… his performance was good I thought, and he will get better and better.
“The right-back Munoz I thought was excellent. I thought he was really, really good, and I thought we saw a wonderful second-half performance from Jefferson Lerma as well.”