Roy Hodgson has said he will not apologize for the manner in which Crystal Palace’s performance after injury-time winner Christian Benteke claimed a 2-1 victory over rivals Brighton.
Palace’s two goals came from their only two shots on target – and hits into Brighton’s box – throughout the game, with the visitors having spent much of the game defending.
Last week, one of the club’s fan groups criticized the Palace boss for his “no-net defensive tactics” after back-to-back home defeats.
“The game is not about touches in the opponent’s box, is it? The game is about scoring goals and not letting any in,” Hodgson said.
“I thought we worked incredibly hard to try to make sure we didn’t leave any goals behind.
“I thought we worked really hard to keep them from having a lot of chances and tonight we were lucky that the two chances we created – and they were both really good goals – we got them. have taken.
“The stats that count at the end of the day are goals against and goals for.
“Okay, they had the best possession, for sure, they had the ball more often in our box, they had more quality but I’m not going to apologize for coming away with what we consider to be. a very good victory. “
Hodgson, who is out of contract this summer, urged fans to “be careful” of what they want in preparation for the game after the recent unrest.
Mateta’s first goal for the club – a skillful back heel on the turn – and Benteke’s thunderous strike took Palace 10 points away from the last three.
The victory was also a first this season in the absence of injured talisman Wilfried Zaha.
“I don’t feel the need to be vindicated,” Hodgson said. “I don’t like to use that word because using the word ‘confirmation’ would suggest that something has gone wrong with what we’ve been trying to do all season. I don’t think the rationale is the right word. .
“We needed a better performance, we had to show the commitment, the courage, the desire that we showed tonight in such an important game. We had to do it because our previous two games were clearly not enough. good. “