We were punished for our poor start to the game – Hodgson

We were punished for our poor start to the game – Hodgson


Crystal Palace Manager, Roy Hodgson has stated that his team suffered a 2-1 defeat to Champions, Chelsea today because they made a dismal start to the game.

Chelsea took the lead through in-form Brazilian, Willian, before an own goal from Martin Kelly extended their lead, however, Palace got themselves back into the game after Patrick van Aanholt strike but it was too late to make much of a difference.

Alexander Sorloth’s effort was controversially ruled out early in the second half as they piled intense pressure on the Blues. The former England Manager believes that, had they started with the same intensity, they would have come away with something at the end.

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While speaking with reporters in his post-match conference, the 70-year old tactician said: “I sum it up probably by saying it’s a shame we didn’t play the whole game we played the second half. There was a big difference defensively and offensively and we paid the price for it.”

“Second half we were more aggressive, we played as we were hoping to play from the first whistle. The introduction of Wilf Zaha was a bonus and we started to ask questions of Chelsea and we could have ended the game as a draw.

“The level of commitment wasn’t good enough in the first half in my opinion. We didn’t have all XI doing that in the first half, but we did have all XI doing it in the second half.”

When questioned whether the second-half display provided him with cause for optimism in their battle against relegation, Hodgson added: “Optimism; I don’t know, I think it’s very clear to me what we’ve got to do in these last eight games – to make certain we leave no stone unturned in our fight to stay in the league.”

They are now one point above the relegation zone with eight games to go.


FSF condemns crowd trouble at Brighton-Palace clash


Fans causing unrest at the game between Brighton and Crystal Palace on Tuesday risk spoiling future matches for the well-behaved majority, according to the Football Supporters’ Federation.

Sussex Police branded the disturbances a “return to the dark days of football” as fans without tickets tried to force entry into the Amex Stadium.

Six people, including one 15-year-old boy, were arrested, while two stewards – one from each club – had to be taken to hospital, one with three fractured ribs.

Both stewards were discharged later on Tuesday night.

A statement from the FSF read: “It’s clear from witness accounts and video footage that a number of Crystal Palace fans ‘stormed’ the turnstiles at the Amex Stadium on Tuesday night.

“There is no excuse for such behaviour and the FSF condemns these actions and reiterates our anti-pyro(technic) stance.

“Many of the fans who reported this to us are match-going Crystal Palace fans with tickets who fear that they will suffer the consequences of such behaviour.

“That can be at future fixtures via reduced away allocations or on the night of the game due to additional policing measures as happened on Tuesday.

“We are concerned at the number of ordinary, peaceful fans who are coming forward and saying they had tickets but were denied entry. They deserve answers and recompense too.

“Any fan in that position should contact the FSF.”

Chief Inspector Simon Nelson, who led the policing operation for the fixture, described how ”groups of masked people” sought confrontation and supporters tried to get into the ground with ”pyrotechnics, knives and knuckledusters”.

Nelson also revealed how a large number of people, seemingly without tickets, over-ran turnstiles in the ground’s south stand to force access to the away supporters’ section.

Disturbances also broke out at Brighton railway station, where frustration grew among fans set to miss the start of the match.

Nelson said: ”This was a return to the dark days of football and is not acceptable.”

Palace said there are clear images of the disturbance and that fans involved will face stadium bans and possible criminal action.

A Crystal Palace statement read: ”We have been made aware of a small group of supporters attempting to gain access to the Amex stadium last night without tickets while using bangers and flares.

”This kind of antisocial and criminal behaviour is completely unacceptable and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

”There are very clear images of the incident and we will work with the police to identify the supporters involved, who will face stadium bans as well as potential criminal proceedings.”

Brighton chose to close the stadium’s turnstiles at 7.51pm, six minutes into the match, which finished goalless.

That decision left some fans with legitimate tickets locked outside the ground, and they were escorted back to the railway station and sent back to London.

Palace said supporters with unscanned tickets, who were denied entry to the match, could contact the club for a refund.

Source: PA


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Palace boss Hodgson demands more from his forwards


Roy Hodgson has called for more from his misfiring forwards as struggling Crystal Palace continue their search for a first away goal since April.

Palace picked up their first Premier League point on the road this season following Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at bitter rivals Brighton, but they remain without a goal away from Selhurst Park since beating Liverpool at Anfield more than seven months ago.

Hodgson has masterminded a mini-revival after replacing Frank de Boer as Eagles manager in September, taking nine points from the last seven games following seven successive defeats.

However, the 70-year-old thinks his bottom-of-the-table side is capable of producing a greater attacking threat.

“With the firepower that we think we have in our team, with the quality we have in that front portion of our team, I think we could have done more,” said the former England boss following the lacklustre stalemate on the south coast.

“I think the players will agree with me, they could have done more, because the opportunities were there.

“We got ourselves into the positions, but we didn’t capitalise on them.

“I think that we’ve got more in our locker.”

A big positive for Palace from the midweek game was the return of record-signing Christian Benteke, who made his first start since suffering a knee injury in September.

The Belgium striker had one of the clearer opportunities against the Seagulls, but home goalkeeper Mat Ryan produced fine saves to deny him and Wilfried Zaha’s follow-up attempt.

Former Eagles striker Glenn Murray almost won it for the hosts late on when his header was blocked on the line by Andros Townsend and manager Hodgson feels the intense rivalry between the two clubs may have contributed to the lack of entertainment.

“The expectations from both sets of fans was very, very high, the players feel under pressure,” he added.

“Of course when you get that kind of pressure, the chances that you will take risks or throw caution to the wind they diminish because you are so frightened that you’re going to be the one that’s cost your team a valuable point by making a silly mistake.”

Chris Hughton believes Brighton’s home form is suffering due to the quality of top-flight opposition.

Although they remain unbeaten at the Amex Stadium since the 2-0 opening-day defeat to leaders Manchester City, mid-table Albion, who won 17 of their 23 Championship home games en route to promotion last season, have drawn four matches in succession in front of their own fans.

“What I would put that down to is this division,” Hughton said of the recent failures to secure three points in East Sussex

“We’re playing against better teams and it’s not a bad place to come and play the Amex.

“Probably what we could get away with over the last couple of years in the Championship is harder to do in this division.”

Source: PA


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