Article

Hodgson keeping Palace grounded despite dramatic late win

12 December 2017 23:54

Roy Hodgson hailed Crystal Palace's character after their late win against Watford, but acknowledged there is still a lot of work to do to secure Premier League survival.

The Eagles extended an unbeaten run to six matches in dramatic circumstances as goals in the 89th and 92nd minutes from Bakary Sako and James McArthur respectively turned around a one-goal deficit.

While the result lifted Hodgson's side out of the bottom three, the Palace boss is not getting carried away by their progress.

"It is a huge three points; where we are in the table, every three points is unbelievably worked for," he told BBC Sport.

"The moment we think our problems are over is the moment our problems will begin. We have a mountain to climb and it's wonderful to win but we're still very close to the bottom of the table.

"We haven't quite made up from getting zero points from the first seven games."

Late drama has been a constant feature at Selhurst Park this term, with Tuesday's joy offsetting the disappointment of a draw against Bournemouth on Saturday, when Christian Benteke missed a stoppage-time penalty.

And Hodgson paid tribute to his players - particularly Wilfried Zaha - for their staying power in key matches at the bottom of the table.

"We got a late winner against Stoke as well and had disappointment on Saturday, so we've gone through the full range of emotions," Hodgson added.

"We've done well in the late stages of games, so I've got to commend the players' attitude and determination to keep going even when things don't look like they're going our way.

"The goals we're scoring are often well-worked and Wilfried Zaha is often the man behind them, so we're delighted with his contribution."

Conversely, Watford manager Marco Silva felt hard done by, as he believes Patrick van Aanholt should have seen red for a rash challenge before Tom Cleverley was dismissed ahead of Palace's late fightback.

"One minute before the red card, Crystal Palace should be down to 10 men," he said. "It is clear.

"The officials must have courage. The crowd here is fantastic, but you must have courage."

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