• By Yann Tear

Hodgson credits Ray Lewington for tough love that shook Palace out of passivity against Foxes


Roy Hodgson revealed that it needed a half-time shellacking from his assistant to shake Palace out of their first-half passivity as they battled to a point against high-riding Leicester.

The Eagles were lucky not to trail at the interval after conceding a penalty and being so hamstrung by their determination to avoid conceding that they neglected to pose the Foxes any defensive problems.

The dressing down worked as Wilfried Zaha put Palace in front and although Harvey Barnes cancelled the goal out late on, the solidity shown was a vast improvement on the two previous games, in which 10 goals were shipped.

“We weren't at all happy with our first half,” said the Eagles’ boss.

“It took an apoplectic performance from Ray Lewington at half time to shake a little bit of life and make sure we came away from just going through the tactical motions of keeping ourselves in some sort of positional shape.

“We got back to putting some severe pressure on the opponents and making life much more difficult for them.

In the first half, we were dumbfounded really by the fact we were as passive as we were. They were the opposite. They were quite aggressive and got up to us very quickly.

“They were very fast and when we had the ball, we were either pressured into mistakes, or if it got up to the front players, they were smothered very early on. We did the same to them second half and as a result, we got our reward.”

Hodgson added: “As disappointed as we all were in the first half, we were much happier with the second half and it’s a bit of a shame that we couldn’t see it through to the end to get all three points.

“But Barnes’ strike was a particularly good one. It was a bit disappointing because it was shot through a crowd of legs, with the keeper a little bit unsighted. But I’m pleased we saw it through and it was a good effort.

“We always knew this would be a tough period because the games we were facing were going to be very hard. Liverpool knocked us back and Aston Villa, who are a very good team as well, knocked us back as well. Leicester today was a daunting task, but I thought we handled it very well.

“The point today and the way played in the second half will stand us in good stead going forward.”

Hodgson said of Zaha: “Wilf was very good today as he has been very good in the past games. He’s very much the player that we know he can be, the player that we want him to be.

“I thought his control, his discipline on the field has been very good and most of all the passion that he has for the game and the club is demonstrating itself in the right way.

“It’s great to see him score again, which takes his goals up to a record level since I've been here and long may it continue. A lot of games left to play and a lot of games left for him to score.”

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