Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has praised his players for apologising in the immediate aftermath of their loss away to Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday night, even though he wouldn’t have done the same.
As a man who has been involved in professional football for almost half a century, it’s fair to say that Roy has been there, seen it, done it and bought the pitch-side suit but during Thursday afternoon’s press conference, the 71-year-old offered up thoughts on how professional football has changed in respect of the role a club’s players are expected to fulfil following a defeat like the one we suffered in midweek.
For all the scepticism our rivalry with Brighton is met with by the mainstream media, the players who took part on Tuesday night left the pitch well aware of the depth of feeling that exists between the two sets of supporters, with the likes of Patrick van Aanholt, Luka Milivojevic, James Tomkins, Andros Townsend, Max Meyer and Wilfried Zaha all showing the travelling Palace faithful that they understood how much the result had hurt us.
Whether he sees it or not, as the club’s manager, Roy Hodgson sets the tone for the “feel” of a game like that in the days which lead up to it and for whatever reason, we simply didn’t appear to want it as much as our South Coast rivals on the night. Whilst I understand his desire to wipe the slate clean and move on as quickly as possible, results and performances like Tuesday’s will live on for a long time in the fans’ memories, meaning we need to make an immediate amends away at West Ham tomorrow afternoon.
A 38-game Premier League season is always a roller-coaster ride but having suffered our first ever Premier League defeat to our biggest rivals just a few days ago, the need to bounce back is more pressing than ever before.