Hodgson bemoans lack of numbers

Crystal Palace
Roy Hodgson was pleased with the performance levels of his Crystal Palace players during their pre-season clash with FC Luzern.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson admits that a lack of available bodies meant two of his youngers had to play out of position against Colchester.

The Eagles went into Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup second-round clash against the U’s as strong favourites but, after the contest ended goalless, they lost 5-4 on penalties to the League Two outfit.

Managers tend to use fringe players and youngsters in the EFL Cup in a bid to rest their senior stars and have a look at those on the peripheries but Sam Woods and Jairo Riedewald were forced to operate away from their usual roles.

Woods, a 20-year-old central defender, made his full debut as a right-back while 22-year-old Netherlands star Riedewald, who has been used as a holding midfielder by Hodgson, played on the left of the back four.

It was far from ideal and the boss confessed that a couple of injuries to his regular starters was behind the situation.

“I felt sorry for Sam Woods and Jairo Riedewald – having to play as full-backs,” said Hodgson. “Sam is an Under-23 centre-back and he had to play right-back in a fairly attacking formation in the second half when we had a lot of the ball.

“Jairo, who is a central midfielder, had to play at left-back because neither Patrick van Aanholt or Joel Ward were available.”

Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s exit during the summer transfer window means that the south Londoners are light at right-back, with Ward the only genuine right-sided defender in the ranks after they failed to bring in a replacement.



Woods felt he did “okay” in his makeshift role, having played the position once during pre-season but admitted the mood among the players and management was not a happy one after the contest.

“The changing room was very quiet at the end,” said the starlet. “The gaffer said it’s not good enough, and it shouldn’t have even gone to penalties. We should have got the job done in 90 minutes.

“In the first half we didn’t move the ball quickly enough. The second half was better, but we just didn’t create or take a chance when it came.”

The defeat means that the Selhurst Park outfit can now concentrate on the Premier League and building on their superb 2-1 victory at Manchester United last time out.

Next up is the visit of Aston Villa on Saturday and they will want to head into the international break with another three points in the bank.