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Roy Hodgson backs Palace to cope with defensive crisis
Dec 6, 2019, 6:37:00 PM

Roy Hodgson backs Palace to cope with defensive crisis

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has backed his squad to deal with a defensive injury and suspension crisis.

Full backs Joel Ward and Patrick van Aanholt are both out for the foreseeable future with muscle injuries, while Mamadou Sakho is suspended following his early red card against Bournemouth.

Veteran centre half Gary Cahill is also injured, leaving Martin Kelly and James Tomkins as the only fit defenders in the Eagles’ first-team squad.

Hodgson said: “You've got to cope. I'm more concerned in some ways about the injuries to Ward and to Patrick Van Aanholt because that does involve an awful lot of shifting around of players.

“And at centre-back if we lose so many as we had on Tuesday night, there was still Cheik Kouyate to go back there and do an excellent job that he so does so often for Senegal.

“He's capable of playing both positions. Because we have so many centre-backs, we use him in midfield but that doesn't mean to say he's not a very competent centre-back,” he added.

Words: Jake Evans

Images: PA