Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson will not take charge of the club’s clash with Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon. The 76-year-old has fallen ill and did not travel to Villa Park.
A Crystal Palace statement reads: “Unfortunately Roy Hodgson was taken unwell earlier today and is not at Villa Park.
“Roy is in contact with Paddy McCarthy, who will take the team today assisted by Ray Lewington. Roy sent his best wishes to the team ahead of the match. We send our very best wishes to Roy.”
High-flying Palace head into their fifth match of the Premier League campaign sitting in seventh place with two wins and one draw. Hodgson has turned the club’s fortunes around since returning to Selhurst Park in March.
The experienced manager is wary of the threats that Unai Emery’s Villa pose. Ahead of the match, Hodgson said: “[It will be] a severe one. They’re good. They were good last season. They finished seventh and got into European competition for the first time in a long while, a great achievement.
“They’ve started this season well also and strengthened their team with two or three really important signings which has made them even stronger.
“Like so many other Premier League teams we meet, they’re there to be not only respected but feared because of what they’re capable of doing, so one has to prepare one’s own team as best as one can so that nothing they do is going to catch us completely by surprise, but we still have to deal with the quality of their players.”
And he opened up on how the international break has affected his preparations, adding: “We’ve seen next to nothing of the international players this time because, of course, the England game was on a Tuesday night, so they only came back, the ones with England, on Thursday.
“Worse still, some of the players who played in Africa and America and South America came back even later than that, but so not alone in that situation so it’s not a complaint, it’s just a statement of fact.
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“We’ve had two good weeks, really, with the players we’ve had here. They’ve worked very hard and we’re happy with the training we’ve been able to do. Our situation isn’t really different to the bulk of the other Premier League teams.
“Everyone’s had to accept where players who don’t always get in the first-team straight away have had the chance to poke their head above the parapet and show what they can do, so in that respect, it’s been good.
“It would have been nice if Marc [Guéhi] and Jefferson [Lerma] hadn’t had to miss this game and could declare themselves available, but we’re still happy with the team we’re putting out and the two weeks’ work we’ve been able to do.”
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