Hodgson welcomes Sakho return



Posted Thursday, December 26, 2019 by PA

Hodgson welcomes Sakho return

Roy Hodgson believes Mamadou Sakho’s return from suspension can give Crystal Palace a boost as their defensive injury woes continue ahead of their London derby against West Ham on Boxing Day.

The Eagles were without seven players for the 1-0 defeat at Newcastle, including Sakho, whose three-match ban has ended in time for the Hammers clash.

However, many of the absent players are expected to remain sidelined, including defenders Joel Ward, Gary Cahill and Scott Dann as well as Jeffrey Schlupp and Andros Townsend.

On the return of Sakho ahead of a congested fixture schedule, Hodgson said: “We’ve got 20 games (remaining) in the league, and we’ve got hopefully a few in the FA Cup.

“There’s plenty of games left in the season for him.

“As far as I am concerned now he is a player coming back who definitely boosts our possibilities in the defensive area and if there was an area where we have been hard hit, it was in that area.

“Suddenly your area of greatest strength, in terms of numbers and possibilities and options, becomes an area of weakness.”

With the January transfer window opening soon, Hodgson is keen to add to the current squad at Selhurst Park and suggested that not doing so could be problematic.

He said: “For over two years now we have been saying we do need to rejuvenate, we do need to bring some new players in, we need more competition for places, we need to strengthen this and that area, and we haven’t been able to do so.

“Other clubs have done that and spent a lot of money into the bargain. So at the moment, because we sit in a reasonable position in the table, our owners can be congratulating themselves because we have done just as good a job as these teams and we’ve spent next to nothing and they’ve spent lots of money.

“But that’s a dangerous thing to do. We are going to have to find the right players and no doubt they will cost some money.”

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