Hodgson dismisses claims Palace will ‘lose focus’ after Leicester loss

Hodgson dismisses claims Palace will ‘lose focus’ after Leicester loss

Roy Hodgson has dismissed claims that his Crystal Palace side could lose focus after watching Leicester overturn a 1-0 half-time deficit to beat the visitors 2-1 at the King Power. 

The home side closed in on a Champions League return after red-hot Kelechi Iheanacho struck again to beat the Eagles.

The forward’s late winner – his 14th goal in 14 games – clinched victory to leave the Foxes three wins away from booking a top-four spot.

Timothy Castagne had earlier cancelled out Wilfried Zaha’s opener as Leicester, who sit third in the Premier League, were forced to dig deep.

They moved seven points clear of fifth-placed West Ham with five games remaining and tantalisingly close to Europe’s top table.

As for Palace, Hodgson’s men are all but safe as they sit in mid-table, 11 points clear of the drop zone.

Speaking after the game, Hodgson told BBC Sport: “I thought for long periods we were going to get at least a point. At half-time I thought we might go on to win.

“Leicester scored quickly after the break but after that we looked as though we were seeing the game through reasonably well. Kelechi Iheanacho’s quick turn and strike is difficult to defend. Objectively I didn’t think it was a bad performance. Had we got a good result I don’t think people would have begrudged us.”

Kelechi.Iheanacho.2021.TEAMtalk1

Palace focus not an issue

On whether his players might lose focus with little on the line, he added: “I don’t fear that because I know the players. That’s not the kind of group we are. I don’t think anyone who watched the game could accuse us of not doing our utmost.

“If we hadn’t conceded the goal so early in the second half, our confidence would have been high. The equaliser came too early after half-time.

“We didn’t get enough time to enjoy the fact we were leading. I honestly thought we’d see the game through… but I was wrong.”

REPORT: Iheanacho strike sees Leicester down Palace to strengthen top-four hopes

 

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