Roy Hodgson dampened down any expectations for his Crystal Palace side in the FA Cup despite comfortably reaching the quarter finals with a 2-0 win at Doncaster Rovers.
First-half goals from Jeffrey Schlupp and Max Meyer were enough to see the Eagles progress.
It was a hard-working and competent performance which rarely ventured beyond doing what was required
“Both teams tried to play good football, said Palace boss Hodgson.
“There were some good moves from both sides and we were able, not just us but Doncaster too, to get the ball down and under some control. So in the end, we’re delighted to come through on the right side and go into the quarter-finals. I was just saying to Grant McCann [Doncaster manager], he should be really proud of his team.
“They couldn’t have done any more to win this game than they did.
“I’d have been happy to go in 1-0 up, let alone 2-0. It gave us that cushion in the second half, we were able to make one or two changes which shored us up a little bit better
“It was always going to be a bit more desperation stuff from Doncaster as the game wore on. They had shown up to that point that they were really trying to work their way through us.
“We’re happy to be through and our fans deserve great credit. Their support was really quite exceptional. Playing away here with 15,000 people in the stadium – the bulk of whom support Doncaster Rovers – for them to be able to match the noise levels like they did for such long periods of time, they deserve a great pat on the back and they helped pull us through.
“Our priority and our focus still remains the same, that we would like to do well in the cup but we would like even more to stay in the Premier League. That always remains the priority.”
The Palace boss hailed the work rate of his players, although he admitted that some of them were below par with their performances.
“They worked very, very hard. Even the players who didn’t have the best of games worked very, very hard to make certain that we gave nothing away. But I’m fortunate that I’ve come to a club where it’s par for the course that players are like that.
“We obviously work at it but I’ve been getting a great response from this group of players. It would have been very easy for a team to come here and meet this Doncaster Rovers without perhaps that gutsy, determined and focussed approach that we had and we could have quite easily slipped up because Doncaster were quite easily good enough to beat them.
“The important thing I think is to take each game as it comes.
”I’m nervous, apprehensive and anxious before every game we play. I don’t care if it’s a fifth-round FA Cup tie against Doncaster Rovers or an away game at Manchester City or Old Trafford. I don’t vary my approach or my feelings. We do our level best to work hard in the training sessions to make certain the players are ready for the game that’s going to be played. I don’t think you can do much more than that.”
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