19 February 2021

Roy Hodgson calls upon depleted Crystal Palace squad for improved performance

19 February 2021

Crystal Palace’s injury woes show no signs of improving but Roy Hodgson has called upon his depleted squad to prove they can perform better after two successive defeats.

The Eagles have slipped to 14th in the Premier League following defeats to Leeds and Burnley, going down 2-0 and 3-0 respectively.

Hodgson is hoping his side can repair some of the damage done by recent performances and give supporters something to cheer about when they go to rivals Brighton on Monday night.

“I think whatever team we were playing after the last two results where we’ve been below par, we’d have been anxious to show that we’re better than that and that we have more in our locker to show than in the last two games,” the 73-year-old said.

“So the fact that it’s Brighton adds the extra spice because it’s a game which is very important to our fans and everyone at the club is very much aware of that.

“It’s a good opportunity to get out there and show that the last couple of performances are not what our fans can expect from us.”

Palace had appeared to have regained their early-season form when they beat Wolves and Newcastle in successive matches, but the recent loss of Wilfried Zaha to a hamstring problem, appears to have affected the squad.

In the previous 20 matches the Eagles have taken the field without the forward, they have suffered 18 defeats.

However, Zaha is just one of a host of injured players unavailable to Hodgson, with two more sustaining knocks during the defeat to Burnley at the weekend.

He added: “He (Zaha) is still suffering from the injury, there’s no question of that and the doctors in particular and the physios are very anxious not to put dates on people so they would be very angry with me if I was to suggest dates for when he might return.

“But he’s working very hard to get back as soon as he can and he has got good powers of recovery so I’m hoping that the prognostic will be rather different to the actual timescale.”

James McCarthy returned to training on Thursday but it would be unlikely that he will be fit enough for the short trip to Brighton on Monday.

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