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‘Apoplectic’ – Palace boss says half-time rant almost cost assistant heart attack in Leicester City game

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‘Apoplectic’ - Palace boss says half-time rant almost cost assistant heart attack in Leicester City game

Roy Hodgson has revealed the secret behind his Crystal Palace side’s improved second half display against Leicester City that, he says, almost cost his assistant a heart attack!

The Eagles’ boss and his staff were unhappy with Palace’s opening 45 minutes against the Foxes when they had goalkeeper Vicente Guaita to thank for saving a Kelechi Iheanacho penalty to ensure the two sides went in all square at the break.

Hodgson’s No.2, however, was so incensed by Palace’s lack of energy that he launched into the players with a good old fashioned half-time rant which clearly did the trick, with Wilfried Zaha going on to give the home side the lead just shy of the hour.

Speaking after the 1-1 draw, Hodgson told Amazon Prime: “It certainly was [positive] in the second half but it almost cost my assistant Ray Lewington a heart attack to produce that energy.

“That is what Crystal Palace want to be and we pressurised the ball so much better.

“We were not at all happy with our first half and it took an apoplectic performance from my assistant at half-time to shake them into life.

“We were dumbfounded that we were as passive as we were. They were more aggressive than us and we were being pressured into mistakes.

“Then we made life difficult for them and put them under pressure. We were much happier with the second half and we got our reward with the goal.

“Harvey Barnes’ strike was a good goal and then the last 10 minutes were tough for us but we saw it through.



Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson walks towards the dressing room with his assistant Ray Lewington at half time in the Premier League match against Leicester City at Selhurst Park

“No question it was a step in the right direction. Liverpool knocked us back and it was a daunting task today but we handled it well.”

He added: “We looked dangerous going forward but unfortunately we do not get the full three points because Barnes scored with a wonderful strike.

“That could have led to us conceding another one but luckily we didn’t, because that would have been very harsh.”

Assessing his side’s first half display against the Foxes, Hodgson said: “We couldn’t really believe what we were seeing because we know we are better than the performance.

“They were making life difficult for us, and in contrast, we were occupying the right positions but not really having an effect.

“The players definitely responded much better in the second half and their performance stepped up more than one gear, and they started playing the football we know they can play.

“Wilfried [Zaha] has been very good. He has passion and a lot of love for the club and, of course he has quality.

“Today he showed that and his determination and he is directing it in the right way, to help us win points. Today was important to put a stop to a bad run.

“The last two games have been very painful and hurt us deeply, but today makes us feel better about ourselves.

“Staying in the league, this year more than any other, is not going to be easy, we could find ourselves quite quickly dragged into a relegation battle.”



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