BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Roy Hodgson spoke to the media after Crystal Palace’s 1-0 win over AFC Bournemouth tonight – and it was no surprise to hear him lauding the South Londoner’s performance.
Mamadou Sakho was shown a straight red card for a high challenge on Adam Smith in the opening exchanges but substitute Jeffrey Schlupp netted for the second Premier League match in succession as the Eagles made it back-to-back Premier League victories.
Palace moved up to fifth in the table.
Below are Hodgson’s quotes on a number of issues.
THE DISPLAY WITH 10 MEN
“I was delighted with the performance. You’ve got to take in the seven minutes of added time, so it was almost 80 minutes.
“For 10 men to stand their ground against a team asking questions. They maintained their shape and discipline – not to sag or just drop and hope kicking balls clear of the penalty area would be enough – we were professional in our play and when we did get the chance to come out with the ball we were asking a lot of questions of them.
“I’m really proud of the team’s performance and they deserve an awful amount of credit.”
ON PALACE MOVING UP TO FIFTH IN THE TABLE
“It’s better to be fifth than fifth from bottom – there’s no doubt about. But it’s 15 games played, there are another 23 to play. But 21 points is a very good return from 15 points, so I am more than happy with that. But I won’t get carried away by the fifth place. There are a new round of games tomorrow and we might find ourselves 12th again.”
ON SAKHO’S RED CARD
“There was no malice in the challenge. It was a fierce challenge. There would have been a time in football where those type of challenges were part and parcel of the game but in recent seasons referees have also been encouraged to take into account the degree of aggression in a challenge.
“I can’t deny it was a strong, aggressive challenge – so the referee makes the decision that the referees these days are encouraged to take. But of course you always feel a little aggrieved in these situations because there was a ball there to be won. It was a brave and strong challenge by Mamadou Sakho. Then we had to play a long period of the game with 10 men.”
CONCERNS ABOUT ENOUGH DEFENDERS WITH INJURIES IN THAT AREA?
“Absolutely. We’ve been concerned about the full-back situation from the start of the season, because we knew that if Joel Ward and Patrick van Aanholt – our two regular full-backs – got injured then we didn’t have out-and-out replacements for them.
“We knew Martin Kelly could go from centre-back to right-back and do a good job, which he has gone and done in the last two games.
“We were more than concerned if anything happened to Patrick we would be struggling to some extent, but we didn’t realise Jeffrey Schlupp would be able to go in and do such a wonderful job there.
“Where we’ve been strong and had competition for places is centre-back. But then, blow me down, we lost Gary Cahill before the Burnley game, Scott Dann in the Burnley game and 10 minutes into today’s game we lose another centre-back. That really is quite amazing when you think ‘I’m spoilt for choice here, there are some difficult decisions coming up – who I play and leave out’. All of a sudden you’re asking Cheik Kouyate to go back and do a wonderful job.”
PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD