Gracious Eagles boss Hodgson praises the 'loyalty' from Luton fans in pulling Town up to the Premier League
and live on Freeview channel 276
A gracious Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson was quick to praise the Hatters’ fans loyalty for pulling them into a position where they were able to record a first home Premier League win of the season over his Eagles side at Kenilworth Road yesterday.
Goals from Teden Mengi and Jacob Brown ensured Luton could finally celebrate their opening victory in front of their own supporters, a result that saw them pull four points clear of the drop zone ahead of Everton’s clash with Manchester United at Goodison Park this afternoon.
Having managed against 55 sides in the top flight, Luton were to become the 56th for the vastly experienced former England, Liverpool, Fulham and Inter Milan manager, as it was the first time in his near 50-year career that he had ever been in the dug-out at Kenilworth Road.
Asked in his post match press conference whether the red-hot atmosphere had played a part in his team’s downfall, he said: “I wasn’t that surprised by it or affected by it, it was what I expected, a very passionate crowd.
"People are very loyal and supporters for a club which deserves that passion and loyal support because of all they've been through over the last 25 years really since the glory days under David Pleat.
“They've had to put up with so much to come from non-league when they were forcibly relegated and in 10 years to be playing in the Premier League that’s an incredible achievement for the club.
"I'm pretty certain that everyone at the club will point to the spectators and the fans and say that it’s your loyalty that has pulled us through.”
Hodgson did feel that his side were slightly unlucky to come away with nothing though, denied by some wonderful defending by the hosts, who made 39 clearances on the day, blocking five shots as well.
When Palace did get through, they were thwarted by some more stunning saves from keeper Thomas Kaminski as well, his best when preventing Jeffrey Schlupp from putting the Eagles in front during the first half.
The Eagles chief added: “I congratulate them, I thought they worked very hard for their victory.
“I think we can feel a little bit unlucky. We could have had some good moments in the game and certainly we asked some very tough questions of their goalkeeper, who had an outstanding game on the day.
“In that last 10 or 15 minutes, when we were pushing for an equaliser, I thought we were going to get that equaliser on at least three occasions, but it didn't come, and I congratulate Luton for their valiant effort.
“They really did put an awful lot of work and effort into getting that victory, so we have to accept that we weren't good enough to get the points we thought we could get from this game."