Hodgson pleads with ‘harsh’ fans after Palace loss. Newcastle rallies for 4-4 draw against Luton


LONDON (AP) — Roy Hodgson’s position at Crystal Palace is looking increasingly shaky after another poor result and the latest display of anger and frustration from the club’s fans on Saturday.

A 4-1 loss at rival Brighton in the Premier League was made even worse by seeing star player Michael Olise limp off just eight minutes after coming on as a substitute, supporters raising another banner protesting the club’s leadership and some of the players then exchanging words with the angry fans after the final whistle.

The 76-year-old Hodgson may not have endeared himself more to fans after the game by taking the side of Palace’s co-owner and chairman Steve Parish.

“I think it is harsh, I think it is wrong,” the Palace manager said of the protests, which started during a 5-0 drubbing to Arsenal two weeks ago. “We understand the fans are unhappy, we got beaten heavily at Arsenal and came here and our fans expected us to win the game and lost 4-1. It would be unrealistic to expect them to go home happy after that and unrealistic also to think the fans aren’t going to protest. All I can say is we are doing our best.”

On a high-scoring day in the Premier League filled with late comebacks, Brighton’s win stood out for its lack of drama.

In the early game, Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite headed home a stoppage-time equalizer to salvage a 2-2 draw with Tottenham after Richarlison had scored twice against his former team.

Newcastle then came from two goals down in the second half to rally for a wild 4-4 draw at home against Luton, and relegation struggler Burnley also erased a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 against visiting Fulham.

Aston Villa had a chance to climb above Tottenham into fourth place when it played at last-place Sheffield United later.

Palace is just five points above the relegation zone, and Hodgson’s decision-making was also questioned after Olise only lasted eight minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute when his team was already 3-0 down. Olise had been struggling with an injury, but Hodgson defended the decision to put him on and said the team’s medical staff had cleared him to play 45 minutes.

“We were told it is not a good idea to start him but he is okay for the bench and you can use him from the bench and that is what we did,” Hodgson said. “There is no point me standing here and talking about hindsight.” ___

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