BY ROB SUTHERLAND
Roy Hodgson was delighted with Crystal Palace’s win over Newcastle United but was still concerned by his side’s profligacy in front of goal.
Patrick van Aanholt’s strike secured the Eagles’ first win in 2020,
Palace manager Hodgson said: “I wouldn’t have minded one or two more goals, I really thought that we did enough to score more than one goal today.
“And that of course would have relieved the anxiety that I always suffer when we’re winning 1-0, in a game that I believe we should be even more comfortably in front.
“You go in the last 10 minutes and you know the opponent’s going to throw caution to the wind and fire a few balls forward – you’re always frightened that the ball is going to bounce unkindly or hit somebody’s hand, or that someone might get fouled. I was pleased that we got through that period as well.“
One player Hodgson highlighted for praise was Jordan Ayew.
“He has a wonderful game,” said the Eagles chief. “He comes off a little disappointed, he wants to score goals. He knows that if he’s ever going to be regarded as a top, top striker people are going to look at his goalscoring record.
“We’ve got to make sure we don’t allow that type of thing to get him down in any way, because what he’s doing for the team is immeasurable, really.”
Van Aanholt, who scored the only goal of the game, was also given a lot of credit after a very good performance.
Hodgson said: “When he takes the responsibility, for example today, with Luka Milivojevic not playing through illness, he said to me: ‘I’ll take a penalty if you want me to. You can trust me.’
“That’s the line of confidence I like to see in a player and the sort of confidence I would have in him, because I know what kind of technical ability he has.”
PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD