Palace boss Hodgson ‘feeling good’ after hospital visit; Villa performance was ‘better than expected’

News Desk
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson revealed he is feeling buoyant after illness forced him to miss his team’s 3-1 loss to Aston Villa last weekend.

The 76-year-old felt unwell a few hours before Crystal Palace’s 3-1 loss at Villa Park last Saturday, but was back taking training on Tuesday ahead of Palace’s home clash with Fulham this weekend.

Hodgson had full faith in assistant manager Paddy McCarthy and long-time ally Ray Lewington, but technical difficulties presented him with an unfamiliar challenge when he attempted to tune in with the dugout from the hospital.

“I’m feeling good,” said Hodgson. “(The experience watching remotely was) not good. The link was sent to us, (me and) the young physiotherapist who was accompanying me, was keeping me company.

“We were sent the link but we couldn’t get it to work unfortunately, so we had the even worse experience of listening to it on the radio and that’s not something I would recommend.

“The performance, in my opinion, watching it back, was good. I thought it was, listening to the radio. I got quite good vibes, and when I spoke to Ray Lewington who came to the hospital directly afterwards he said he was very satisfied and pleased with the performance.

“I was expecting it to be quite good watching it back, but if anything it was better than I even could have expected.”

Hodgson did eventually manage to watch back last weekend’s encounter, which looked to be heading for a 1-1 draw until Douglas Luiz and Leon Bailey both netted in second-half stoppage time, the first a result of a penalty issued against Palace defender Chris Richards.

In-form Odsonne Edouard scored Palace’s only goal to make it four across five matches this season but Villa hit back late on, with Jhon Duran equalising in the 87th minute before Luiz and Bailey sealed the result.

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Last weekend’s narrative at Villa Park may well be a good indicator of what is to come this season under new time-keeping regulations, with referees now asked to calculate the exact time lost when certain events occur, rather than the nominal amount added in previous seasons.

While nine minutes were initially added on at Villa Park, Luiz scoring his spot-kick after eight, Bailey was able to extend his side’s advantage three minutes later with the full-time whistle not blown until 17 minutes of second-half stoppage time were played.

Hodgson hopes referees will take a realistic approach to the new guidelines, saying: “I must say that I don’t believe in time-wasting in the first 10 minutes of the game.

“I don’t know what teams, in our league, go out to waste time after 10 minutes and get players booked.

“That’s part of their (officials) job to come to terms with that, the resilience needed, all of us. Because we’re entrenched to some extent in our past histories of the game. I think we’re all a little bit entrenched in the idea of, right, 90 minutes is up, blow the whistle.

“But it’s been quite a long time now since we accepted that that is not going to happen, and now we just have to accept that what used to be four to six can now be six to 12, and you’ve got to find the way to make certain you deal with that.”

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