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‘Tough blow’ – Crystal Palace boss explains key midfielder’s injury absence in Nottingham Forest draw

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has revealed why Cheick Doucoure missed Saturday evening’s goalless draw at home to Nottingham Forest.

The Mali international, 23, has played the full 90 minutes in every Premier League outing this season under the former England boss.

Doucoure was one of several senior players absent for the Eagles due to injury, with Dean Henderson, Joel Ward, Jefferson Lerma, Michael Olise, Matheus Franca and Eberechi Eze also all sidelined.

“I was taken aback yesterday because Doucoure trained,” said Hodgson.

“He has been a bit fatigued – in his words – since coming back from international duty.

“With Doucoure, Lerma, Olise and Marc Guehi, we have not been lucky with international duty – it’s cost us four players.

“Doucoure this whole week was training normally – there was no mention that he was fatigued or suffering from some sort of muscle soreness or awareness.

“For the training session to finish yesterday and for him to complete the session, only for him to be told only a few minutes after he finished the session that he wasn’t available, was a tough blow.

“It forced us to rethink and revamp.”

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