Hodgson confirms Mateta available v Wolves

January 26, 2021 11:21 pm

Speaking after Crystal Palace’s game with West Ham United, Roy Hodgson confirmed new signing Jean-Philippe Mateta will be in contention to play against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Palace manager was unable to select the 23-year-old forward against the Hammers, but said post-match: “He now has his visa, which was a slight issue we had to sort out but he now has that and he’ll train with us on Thursday and Friday.

“He’ll certainly be in the squad for Saturday and I’ll have to make a decision whether he starts the game or not.”

Reflecting on the Eagles’ 2-3 loss, Hodgson expressed his frustration in no uncertain terms, saying: “It wasn’t good enough, not good enough to beat West Ham anyway. They were good and deserved to win. A good start but we didn’t capitalise, far from it.

“Our first-half performance was not anywhere near what we’re capable of, the players thought that as well. Everyone wanted to do better in the second-half, which arguably we did.

“We tried hard, made substitutions and put attackers onto the field which led to a consolation goal at the end. But it also opened us up enormously to the counter-attack. There were a lot of situations in the game I was fearing West Ham would aggravate the score.”

Asked whether Wilfried Zaha and Michy Batshuayi’s early and late goals provided any consolation after defeat, Hodgson said they did little to temper his disappointment.

“I’m afraid it’s scant consolation,” he said. “Of course, I’m always pleased to see players on the scoresheet but you want to see that when players have won the game or got a point.

“When they’re on the scoresheet and you’ve conceded three… I find it very hard to sit here and be positive because I’m basically feeling a little negative because I thought we’d do better tonight than we did.”

Ray Lewington was not part of the Palace bench today, and Hodgson explained why:

“Unfortunately he’s having to isolate at the moment because of coronavirus. We’ll have to wait until that isolation period is over before we can welcome him back.

“He caught the virus we think from a family member but he has tested positive. He’s not feeling that bad luckily, so it’ll be a question of re-testing towards the end of his isolation period before he’ll be given the green light to join us.”

Finally, the Palace manager commented on what comes next for the Eagles: “The daily work now is to make certain we first of all dust ourselves down and put this defeat behind us as quickly as we possibly can.

“The only way to do that is to train hard and make sure our performance is better than it was today against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.”

To watch free highlights and post-match reaction from this clash, head over to Palace TV by clicking here or ‘Palace TV’ within the app.

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