Premier League – Hodgson eyes late reinforcements

Premier League Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson hopes the club can bring in a striker on transfer deadline day to bolster his injury-stricken squad.

The Eagles have so far only signed two new players during the January transfer window, some way short of the number additions Hodgson had asked before the start of the month.

A striker has been high on the former England manager’s list of priorities since the beginning of January and his need was only intensified on Tuesday night when he lost Bakary Sako to what appeared to be a serious injury.

With fellow frontman Connor Wickham and Ruben Loftus-Cheek already unavailable to Hodgson,. the 70-year-old is hopeful some attacking reinforcements will arrive at Selhurst Park before the transfer window shuts.

“I will speak to Steve Parish [chairman] and Dougie Freedman [sporting director] to see how their hard work is panning out. At the moment I don’t have anything to say at all,” Hodgson told Sky Sports.

“Although, it makes it even clearer now that we need to bring someone in, if Bakary (Sako) is out for a long time. Our forward options are really down to the bare bones.”

Hodgson was speaking after watching his Palace team battle out a 1-1 draw with London rivals West Ham on Tuesday night.

Having taken the lead through Christian Benteke in the first half, Hodgson was disappointed his team failed to build on that early goal and admits he expects better from his players.

“We weren’t anywhere near as good as I think we can be,” Hodgson added. “We played a lot better in the second half, we had better control of the goal.”

The draw at the London Stadium leaves the Eagles three points outside the relegation zone and they are now 1/25 to stay up.

Palace are next in action on Sunday when they face fellow strugglers Newcastle United at home.

The Londoners are 1/1 for the win, with the Magpies 3/1 and the draw 11/5.

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