Day's rest between games is harsh, says Hodgson as Palace injuries mount

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Newcastle United v Crystal Palace - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - December 21, 2019 Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson before the match REUTERS/Scott Heppell

(Reuters) - A day’s rest between two Premier League matches is “harsh” on the players who could become victims of fatigue that puts them at risk of injury, Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said on Tuesday.

Palace host West Ham United on Thursday before making a trip to Southampton for a match on Saturday, and their busy festive period ends with a game at Norwich City four days later.

“I enjoy the training, the matches themselves somewhat less so as I think it’s harsh to play at the level we play at with just a day’s rest,” Hodgson told reporters.

“It’s too much to ask. I don’t enjoy that part, it’s a very dangerous period -- there can be injuries, there can be fatigue. Suddenly you find yourself looking up the table rather than down.”

Palace, 12th, have a number of senior players sidelined with injury, including defenders Scott Dann, Gary Cahill and Joel Ward, while midfielders Jeffrey Schlupp and Andros Townsend are also out of contention.

“Scott Dann’s a strain, and normally they’re several weeks,” Hodgson added.

“Gary Cahill and others, they’re predicting it won’t be the coming matches - more like the end of the month if we’re lucky. Jeffrey Schlupp and Andros Townsend, it could be even longer.

“Our squad’s small. The injuries we picked up -- there were seven going into the weekend.”

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson