EPL

Roy Hodgson vows to fight on as Crystal Palace fans vent fury in Brighton defeat

By Sports Desk February 03, 2024

Roy Hodgson vowed to carry on fighting as Crystal Palace manager despite some of the club’s fans turning on him during the 4-1 Premier League defeat at Brighton.

Hodgson cut a forlorn figure on the touchline as goals from Lewis Dunk, Jack Hinshelwood, Facundo Buonanotte and Joao Pedro once again left his future under scrutiny.

Palace sacked their previous manager, Patrick Vieira, following a 1-0 defeat in this fixture last season so Hodgson, on a run of just four wins from 17 matches, could be on thin ice.

The 76-year-old knew it was not going to be his day when Michael Olise, on as a substitute, lasted just eight minutes before suffering a recurrence of a hamstring injury.

That led to chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ from the away end with the Brighton fans, never shy to revel in their rivals’ misfortune, responding with ‘Super Roy Hodgson’.

“Wonderful, wasn’t it?” quipped Hodgson. “Is it nice? No it isn’t. Yes, my years of management have given the me resilience me to cope with that, absolutely, and taunts from away supporters are part and parcel of our lives.

“At the moment our fans aren’t very happy with everything that is happening at the club and they are making their feelings known as well.

“But I signed up to be the manager and coach of this football club and I’ve got the strength, resilience and determination to see things through. I’m certainly not going to be cowed by that type of thing.”

Hodgson is hamstrung by the absence of Eberechi Eze through injury but his decision to risk his other star man, Olise, when his side were 3-0 down raised eyebrows.

“I was told he couldn’t start the game, everyone was quite comfortable with that,” added Hodgson.

“But they told me, and he told me, he was fine to be on the bench and to play in the second half. Unfortunately I don’t have a crystal ball and I wasn’t to know that would lead to a recurrence of his injury.”

A late goal from Jean-Philippe Mateta could not spark a Palace revival and the loss of captain Marc Guehi to a first-half knee injury just compounded a thoroughly rotten day.

Then goalkeeper Dean Henderson and defender Joachim Andersen had a heated exchange with some supporters at the final whistle.

“They are realistic enough to know the fans aren’t going to be happy to see their team lose 4-1 and I think the players did the right thing,” insisted Hodgson.

“No one is less happy than ourselves. At least they went over to thank the fans and let them know we are grateful for their support. If people react, so be it.”

It was Brighton’s biggest win over their fierce rivals since 1956 and the perfect response to the midweek 4-0 defeat at Luton.

Boss Roberto De Zerbi said: “We are very happy because in a derby we made our fans happy, but I’m not surprised with the reaction we showed.

“Our win started on Tuesday after the Luton game. I’m really pleased with the result, the reaction, the energy.”

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