Saturday’s fixture at Aston Villa turned out to be a bad day at the office, but Crystal Palace would’ve had more pressing concerns than the three points.
When Odsonne Edouard handed the Eagles the lead at Villa Park it wasn’t against the run of play, and with four minutes left of the match the visitors were still ahead.
Ultimately, the south Londoners were to be denied even a draw as an 87th minute equaliser was followed by two injury time goals for the hosts.
The disappointment may well have been palpable, however, the news that their manager, Roy Hodgson, had a health scare and therefore didn’t travel would surely have been of far more importance to the players and the club in general.
On Tuesday, the official Crystal Palace website carried an important update on the health of their manager.
‘We are delighted to confirm Roy Hodgson led Crystal Palace training today,’ it read.
‘The manager was absent from Saturday’s match at Villa Park but will return to the dugout for Saturday’s match against Fulham at Selhurst Park.’
That news will certainly come as a huge boost to the first-team squad, and is likely to give them a lift as they ready themselves for the London derby against the Cottagers.
Both sides are currently locked together on seven points with identical records of two wins, one draw and two losses so far in their 2023/24 Premier League campaign.
Palace’s better goal difference sees them start the game ahead of their opponents, and Hodgson will be doing his level best to ensure it stays that way.