Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has compared the crowd trouble that marred Tuesday’s goalless draw against Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League to the “dark days” of football and said that such behaviour should be avoided at all costs.
Several stewards suffered minor injuries and one from each club was hospitalised as they clashed with a minority of Palace supporters who attempted to force their way into the Amex Stadium without tickets.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to West Bromwich Albion, Hodgson condemned the behaviour of the Palace fans who overshadowed the first derby between the two teams since 2013. “It’s pretty obvious that I’m deploring of it and I would hate to see a return to those so-called dark days of football,” Hodgson told a news conference on Thursday.
“I know that the club will do its best to weed out the people responsible and to punish them for their behaviour because we obviously don’t want that.” Strict policing and improved facilities have combined to reduce hooliganism at soccer matches in the past 40 years but Tuesday’s incident was a warning that fan violence could still erupt at big games.
“It does overshadow the fact that this was a first derby game for a long period of time and when people should be talking about football they are once again talking about hooliganism,” Hodgson added.
Meanwhile, Palace defender Jeffrey Schlupp missed training on Thursday while Hodgson will make a late call on defender Scott Dann and midfielders Yohan Cabaye and Luka Milivojevic, who picked up knocks after the Brighton game.
Palace are bottom of the table with nine points after two wins, three draws and nine defeats while West Brom are one place above the relegation zone with 12 points.