Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson expressed his pride in his team’s performance after the ten-man Eagles defeated Bournemouth 1-0 at Selhurst Park to move up to fifth in the Premier League.
Despite having Mamadou Sakho sent off after 20 minutes, Palace held firm defensively and claimed all three points courtesy of a driven Jeffrey Schlupp effort in the second half.
The Eagles boss has been speaking to reporters following the game at Selhurst Park this evening (Tuesday), with Hodgson talking about the red card for Sakho, an injury to Patrick van Aanholt and his side’s performance.
And here’s every word the Palace manager said in his post-match press conference.
What were your thoughts on the sending off?
I thought there was no malice in the challenge, but it was a fierce challenge. I think some time ago, those sort of challenges were part and parcel of the game, but in recent seasons the referees have also been asked to take into account the degree of aggression.
I can’t deny it was a strong, aggressive challenge, and so the referee has made the decision that he has had to take.
You always feel a little hard done by in those situations, because the ball is there to be won and it was a brave and strong challenge by Mamadou Sakho.
Of course, then we had to play with ten men for a long time.
What did you make of the performance, with ten men?
I was absolutely delighted with the performance, to play for 70 minutes – and if you take into account the seven minutes of added time, 77 minutes, for ten men to stand their ground against a team that is asking lots of questions, and to maintain their shape and maintain their discipline, and not just drop and kick balls away in the hope that it will be enough, but to try and stop crosses and close gaps in the hope of succeeding.
And we were still trying to come out with the ball and when we had the chance, we were asking questions of them, so I am really proud of the team and really pleased for them, and I think they deserve an awful amount of credit for these three points.
You are now fifth in the table – what are your thoughts on that?
It is one of those, it is better to be fifth than fifth from bottom, there’s no doubt about that. There are still 23 games to play, and there is no guarantee we will be fifth in 23 games time, but I think 21 points is a very good return from 15 games, so I am more than happy with that, but I won’t get carried away, and with more games tomorrow, we might not find ourselves fifth anymore.
Absolutely. We have been concerned about the full-back situation since the start of the season. We knew that i Joel Ward or Patrick van Aanholt got injured, we don’t have out-and-out replacements.
We knew that Martin Kelly could go from centre back and do a fine job, as he has done in the last two games.
We were of course concerned if something happened to Patrick [van Aanholt], but we didn’t realise Jeff Schlupp would be able to go in and do such a strong job there.
Where we have been strong is at centre-back, with good competition for places. But then blow me down, we lost Gary Cahill before the Burnley game, Scott Dann in the Burnley game and now we have had Mamadou Sakho sent off after a few minutes here, and that is really quite amazing, thinking I will be spoilt for choice, but all of a sudden, we are asking Cheik Kouyate to go back and do a wonderful job, which he did.
Did you think you should have had a penalty?
It was too far away from me to see to be honest.
I heard the crowd calling for a penalty, and Wilf obviously thought so too, but I would have to see it again in a replay, which i haven’t done. But I trust the referee, I have got to say.
There were quite a few situations with players going down under challenges, and if he had blown for a foul every time a player went down, the game would have been littered with them.
But we are talking about one of the best referees in Europe, and I am not prepared to discuss after such a good result, to complain whether or not we could or should have had a penalty.
How are Gary and Scott looking for Watford?
I don’t know. It is a very short turn around between Saturday and Tuesday. Scott Dann’s ankle is still swollen so we are still waiting for a scan, so it was a bit early to tell.
Gary Cahill will get a chance tomorrow to try it out a bit before we train on Thursday, but I am certainly not writing either of them off. I am hoping they will recover in time, but I really won’t know until Thursday.
If not, Kouyate didn’t look bad, could he go and play at centre-back again?
That’s probably one of the biggest understatements I have come across, that Kouyate didn’t do a bad job. I thought he was outstanding and he did a magnificent job.
What is the latest on Patrick van Aanholt? It looked like his hamstring?
The only positive from that is that he came off early, the moment he felt something.
He didn’t feel that he had torn anything, but he definitely felt something in the hamstring.
He will of course have treatment tomorrow and Thursday, and probably a scan, but we just have to wait and we have to hope we can get him back quickly. He wasn’t under the impression that he was finished for a number of weeks, but until we have had a scan, and had the chance for the doctors to look at it, we won’t know. Thursday will tell me more.