Premier League: Hodgson not worried by trip to locked down Leicester

Roy Hodgson addressed concerns surrounding Crystal Palace's trip to Leicester where COVID-19 lockdown was reimposed due to recent spike in cases.

Roy Hodgson

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said playing matches without fans felt surreal.   -  Getty Images

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson says he has no concerns about his team's Premier League game at Leicester City on Saturday despite the Midlands city having lockdown measures re-imposed.

Leicester became the subject of the first local lockdown in the UK on Monday after a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Palace will travel to Leicester later on Friday ahead of the afternoon kickoff and Hodgson is satisfied everything has been done to avoid any risks of exposure to the virus.

“This is what's been decided and as far as our match is concerned as soon as the people at the Premier League and the people at Leicester gave us the go-ahead, that's it safe to play there, I had no qualms about accepting that,” he said in a virtual news conference.

“And the players feel the same way.

“Everything has been very good so far and all the promises made by the Premier League have been carried out.”

Hodgson said the restart of the season without fans in stadiums had been “surreal” but that it was the best option.

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“We are all coming to terms with it I think. I've said on many occasions this is the best alternative of the alternatives that are open to us,” the 72-year-old said.

“This way means we can get the games played and the football matches are still football matches and create entertainment for everybody, it's a new reality for us at the moment.”

Palace won their first match after the season resumed at Bournemouth, but defeats by Liverpool and Burnley have dented their prospects of a late run for Europe.

They will be boosted at Leicester by the availability of striker Christian Benteke who returns after a thigh injury, although Hodgson knows his side lack firepower.

“We haven't had a good goalscoring record,” Hodgson said. “The strikers have not got near the (Jamie) Vardys in terms of goals expected. We have to come to terms with the fact that someone has to start scoring goals.

“Let's hope we have a good summer window to improve our squad and bring in one or two who can score our goal threats.”

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