BY ROB SUTHERLAND
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson insisted tiredness should not be an excuse for his side’s 2-0 defeat to Southampton, despite his sides chronic injury problems.
He said: “We can’t use that as an excuse because we had the same rest period between the games as the other teams in the league.
“It’s more of a question that we’ve had this period where the same 11 basically have had to fight their way through games, and some quite tough games into the bargain, and it caught up with them a little bit tonight.”
Palace’s lack of options is concerning but the manager is taking solace from the week and a half of rest, with no game this weekend due to the early FA Cup exit.
“I’m not really thinking about the transfer window but about the recovery of six players, because six players is a lot to have out of your squad. I’m not just talking about six players who never play, you know — we’re talking about [Christian] Benteke, Andros Townsend, Jeffrey Schlupp, Mamadou Sakho, Patrick Van Aanholt and Luka Milivojevic — those are players who normally play in the team.
“So if you like, they’ll be like six new players when they come back as we’ve been doing without them for the last four or five weeks.”
Hodgson was also disappointed at how quickly after half-time his side conceded the second.
“It was a massive blow because we had a little half-chance ourselves at the start the second half and if we kept it to 1-0 for a longer period of time, who knows what could have happened? Even without playing well.
“But at 2-0, they really had their tails up and they were pretty much in control of the game. It was going to be really hard ask to get those two goals to help to bring us back into the game and quite frankly we never really looked as though we were going to achieve that.”