BY MATT WOOSNAM
Roy Hodgson insisted his Crystal Palace side did not let him down despite a 3-1 defeat at Chelsea.
Palace went behind after 31 minutes after Alvaro Morata’s goal but an excellent move saw James McArthur set-up Andros Townsend to equalise before two goals in quick succession from Morata and Pedro secured victory for the Blues.
“I’m always disappointed when we lose but I can’t be critical of the team’s performance,” Hodgson said.
“In the first half we were solid and well-organised but maybe lacking that little bit of aggression which we put right at the start of the second half.
“We started that very brightly and at 1-1 we had hopes, but the free-kick saw them take the lead again and to come back a second time was always going to be difficult and we weren’t able to do it.”
Hodgson also felt that his side conceded an unnecessary free-kick early in the second half which was then poorly defended as Morata blasted in from the far post.
“I’m disappointed with the free-kick goal [to make it 2-1]. The foul is a cheap one and I don’t think many managers would be happy seeing free-kicks given against them for that type of challenge. In all those balls that are whizzed into the box, there is always something going on that you can point to.
“On another day the referee might see something that’ll work in you favour but unfortunately we didn’t get away with that one, and the ball fell very kindly for Morata and he took his chance very well.”
“We’ve got to get the good performance that we did to get a point against Arsenal, and I don’t think our performance was bad by any stretch of the imagination today. The only thing we can do is keep trying to give those performances, and hope that if there is any luck going it goes our way.”
Despite sitting in the bottom half of the table, the Palace boss is unconcerned about his team’s position, pointing to their revival in the second half of the previous campaign.
“We need to make certain that we never lose sight of the fact that is doesn’t really matter where you are at Christmas. Last season we were very rarely outside the relegation zone and we ended up in 11th, and could have even been 10th if it wasn’t for goal difference.
“There’s an awful lot of football to be played, but the one thing you do know as a manager is that if your team are playing badly and not getting points, you never really have any confidence as to where points will come from.
“I’m not in that position – we missed chances, been unlucky and not have as many points as we should have, but let’s see where we are after 38 games, and the important thing is to keep going, regardless as to what happens in the next two.”