Roy Hodgson conceded his Crystal Palace side did not perform to a high enough standard in tonight’s 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United.
Late goals by Callum Wilson and Joelinton earned victory for the Toon as the Eagles once again badly missed Wilfried Zaha, still self-isolating after his positive Covid-19 test.
Hodgson does not like stats – feeling they don’t always tell an accurate story – but it is hard to dispute how much of a missing link the Ivory Coast international is for Palace. Their record without him reads two wins and 15 defeats with an average of 0.35 goals per game.
Zaha has sat out Monday’s 1-0 defeat at Burnley and now Friday evening’s reverse to United.
Hodgson told Amazon: “All defeats hurt and this one hurts because we didn’t play well enough.
“But I didn’t think we were actually going to lose the game. I feared we weren’t going to win it…so to lose it is a bitter blow. But there’s not much more to say then we did lose it and congratulate Newcastle on winning it.
Hodgson was asked if Newcastle’s victory was down to keeper Karl Darlow, who made some important saves in both halves.
But he responded: “No. I would credit the whole Newcastle team, the goalkeeper played his part – as one expects him to do. It would be too simplistic to suggest that we didn’t win because the goalkeeper was in form.
“We didn’t win because we didn’t create enough chances or play well enough.”
Next up for Hodgson is a trip to one of his former clubs – West Bromwich Albion.
He was asked if he was confident about getting a positive result at The Hawthorns and replied: “I was confident that we were going to play very well tonight against Newcastle. We do our best. But to make those kind of predictions would be foolish.
“We played better against Burnley than we did tonight. I still think the defeat is a bit harsh with the two goals. The second one, in particular, was just an addendum. It was the first goal in the 88th minute which killed us, because it took any possibility of a point from us.
“We’ll have to come over that, analyse that and deal with it. We’ll have to try and make sure we get back on the track and play the sort of football we know we’re capable of playing, when we play West Brom next Sunday.”
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