BY SAM SMITH
Roy Hodgson has described a low mood at Crystal Palace in the days that followed the 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend – a result he admits felt like a defeat.
Diogo Jota equalised five minutes into added time after the Eagles had led through Leander Dendoncker’s own goal. The Palace boss said it felt like a defeat worse than the 4-0 humbling at Tottenham Hotspur the week prior.
Palace responded with a 2-0 victory against Norwich City on Saturday, and Hodgson was glad that his players came through the disappointment in the aftermath of the late goal scored by the Midlands outfit.
Hodgson said: “The atmosphere in the week was quite a depressive one.
“We had to make certain that everyone came through that because that is a cruel, cruel way to draw a game. It felt like a loss. It felt like a worse defeat than the Tottenham 4-0. It felt like a massive defeat that 1-1 game.
“We piled the blame on to ourselves, we drew the game because we didn’t deal with the last five minutes of the game as we should have done. No-one, players through to coaching staff, had any desire to make excuses but we had to get over the fact that it did happen.
“That’s why today’s victory is so important because we were playing against a good team. Like Wolves last week, their reputation was one of a team who could quite easily come and beat you – it could even be higher.”
Norwich had started the season well having returned to the Premier League after winning the Championship last season.
Hodgson feared a side capable of repeating the result achieved by Wolves last Sunday.
“I feared Norwich every bit as much as I feared Wolves last week. They’re a good team, have some good players, they have made a run from momentum they have got from having a wonderful season. they have a centre forward who has scored 29 goals in goodness knows how many games.
“You’re scoring goals for fun, you have run away with the league, you’ve come up and you’ve started well. That momentum is a very hard momentum to fight against. We’re never going to have that momentum.
“We’re always going to be the sort of team that has got to go out to every game and make sure our preparation is right, that our game plan is right, that we work unbelievable hard to try to win the game.”
PICTURE BY KEITH GILLARD