“He’s fit and ready to play,” he said at his pre-match press conference, “in fact, we’ve got good option in the centre-forward area at the minute, because the players who are available to us in that area are all fit and ready to play.
Mateta’s ability to adapt to his new surroundings has particular impressed the manager.
“We are all very happy with him. He seems to be getting more and more attuned to life in England, life in the Premier League and in particular life in south London with us, so all those elements contribute to the future we’re hoping for from him.”
Hodgson reserved praise for Vicente Guaita, who signed a new contract to stay at Selhurst Park until 2023.
“We’re very pleased to have him,” he said. “He’s been very consistent in his performances. He’s made some very good saves in the time he’s with us and he seems to be enjoying his time here.
“It is a source of pride for the club…It’s nice to know when you sign players that you can keep them satisfied and wanting to stay with you, not looking immediately to move on.
Since I’ve been at the club, it’s been a very stable group of players and very many of those players have done a very good job for the club. We have a good bunch like that – if I was Steve Parish and the owners of the club I’d take some pride in that.”
Before the trip to Newcastle, the manager reminded his players that Steve Bruce’s side were a real threat despite their recent struggles.
“They have a lot of options and a lot of quality players. I wasn’t at all surprised to see them play well at Everton.
“We’re expecting a very tough game up there tomorrow because that’s what playing teams like Newcastle means: it’s never an easy ride.”