Roy Hodgson relieved no fans in Selhurst Park to watch defeat to Newcastle

Roy Hodgson admitted it was probably a good thing the Crystal Palace fans were not in attendance for Friday’s defeat to Newcastle.

However, Hodgson is looking to give them something to shout about when they do return to Selhurst Park for the visit of Tottenham next month.

Spectators will be able to attend sports events in certain parts of England from December 2 after the Government introduced a regionalised tier system to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

With London placed in tier two, Palace are “working through the logistics” of hosting 2,000 supporters on December 13 when Jose Mourinho’s Spurs visit SE25.

On Friday night, late goals from Newcastle duo Callum Wilson and Joelinton ensured what should be the Eagles final home game behind closed doors ended in a 2-0 defeat.

Hodgson said: “I’m rather happy they aren’t here because I’m certain they would have left for home, after having not seen any matches for a long time and after coming here with high hopes and expectations, and we would have sent them home unbelievably disappointed.

“I can’t honestly say tonight I feel we have missed them because I know we would have disappointed them so much.

“Of course I’m hoping for the next (home) game against Spurs, who are one of the top teams in the country, the 2,000 will be here and we will be able to give them a performance that will send them home happy.”

After going down 1-0 at Burnley on Monday, the south Londoners were eager to bounce back for the visit of Steve Bruce’s Newcastle, who entered the fixture following back-to-back defeats.

Quality was lacking throughout and despite Karl Darlow being forced into key first-half saves from Palace pair Ebere Eze and Jeffrey Schlupp, it was the Magpies who stole the points at the death.

Joelinton set up Wilson with two minutes left before the England international returned the favour to consign the Eagles to another loss, which leaves them on 13 points after 10 matches.

“We believe very strongly in the players, we see them every day in training and we believe that there is a lot of quality in our team,” Hodgson insisted.

“But in the last two games, over the 180 minutes, we haven’t produced that quality often enough.

“We haven’t asked enough questions about our two opponents, both of whom really are in the same ballpark in the league as we are.”

Newcastle manager Bruce paid tribute to Wilson, who struck his seventh goal for the club since a summer switch Bournemouth.

He said: “We have a goalscorer and when he gets through with an opportunity, all of us are saying goal.

“Also the way he is as a boy, he is a team player, so I am delighted for him. He has had a really, really good start and they were a handful, him and Joe, and we got our reward in the end.”

With Allan Saint-Maximin sidelined with a calf injury, the Magpies boss set his team up in a 4-4-2 formation and £40million record signing Joelinton appeared to enjoy the extra support of Wilson.

“Any striker likes someone up alongside him, we don’t see it very often these days,” Bruce added.

“They were a handful and that little bit of quality with the link up play between the two of them has got them both a goal and a assist, which is very pleasing.”

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