Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has told Football.London that he felt the Elland Road pitch didn’t help Jean-Philippe Mateta last night.
The Eagles travelled to take on Leeds United and fell to a 2-0 defeat as Jack Harrison and Patrick Bamford found the net.
Palace were unable to cope with Leeds for large spells, and striker Mateta got little change out of Liam Cooper and Pascal Struijk.
Mateta, 23, was making his debut for Palace having arrived on loan from Mainz during the January window – and his first appearance was somewhat ironic.
Le Phoceen reported in January that Leeds were looking to sign Mateta, but ended up losing out to Palace as the Whites were quiet in January.
Mateta’s debut in English football still came at Elland Road, though Roy Hodgson felt that was something of an issue.
Hodgson suggested that the pitch at Elland Road ‘didn’t help’ Mateta in what was going to be a difficult night for him anyway.
Having beaten Leeds in the race for Mateta, Hodgson remains excited about his future despite a quiet night last night, believing that he will make a big impact moving forward.
“Well it was going to be a very difficult for him, it was a very difficult game anyway,” said Hodgson. “The pitch didn’t help – I know it’s the same for both teams but we seemed to have even more trouble than they did keeping our footing on the pitch.”
“And of course, it’s his first game in the Premier League, playing against a team that pressurise very fiercely and aggressively, so it was going to be a hard game for him. I think it’s good he’s got the 65 minutes behind him, we’ll keep working with him and hopefully he’ll come to terms more and more with what the Premier League is the more he works with us,” he added.