Hodgson seeks January reinforcements at injury-hit Palace

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) - Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has asked the club to bolster his injury-plagued squad during the January transfer window and said that it was “demoralising” to put pressure on a restricted number of players this season.

Jordan Ayew’s solo strike earned Palace a 2-1 home victory over West Ham United on Thursday, but the veteran coach’s side, who were already without several injured players, lost defender Patrick van Aanholt midway through the second half.

Hodgson, who has guided the club to ninth in the Premier League with 26 points from 19 games, is out of contract in June 2020 and the 72-year-old said he hoped to have more players at his disposal if he decides to sign an extension.

“That’s under discussion ... but I’d want to, if I’m going to stay, not have the situation I find myself in where it’s a bit demoralising having to put so much pressure on a few players to keep our head above water,” Hodgson told reporters.

“We really do need some help - when I say ‘we’ it’s not so much myself but the players ... it’s not easy, sooner or later we need to get in people.

“If we can get through Christmas and the chairman can give me four or five players to strengthen the squad, then we’ll do extremely well,” Hodgson said. “We’ve talked about it for a long time so maybe this is the transfer window we’ll get them.”

Palace next travel to Southampton on Saturday and their busy festive period ends with a game at struggling Norwich City four days later.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell