Roy Hodgson conceded that Palace’s loss to Middlesbrough in the Carabao Cup was a missed opportunity after hearing a tie at home against Burton would’ve been waiting for them.

Lewis Wing’s goal means Middlesbrough now have Nottingham Forest conquerors standing between them and a semi-final.

Hodgson, who made nine changes to the side said it was a chance missed but defended his decision to field a ‘weaker’ side.

“Of course it’s a missed opportunity,” he said.

“Football today is a competition where you have a squad of players. We’ve had a fairly stable 11 this season and there were a lot of players there tonight who needed a game and they didn’t let me down in any shape or form. Furthermore, of the players we left at home, three of those were injured.

“There were only four or five at home who possibly could have come – one of those being the keeper – so we pretty much used the players that we had at our disposal. The three players we actually spared are very important to us in other ways.”

Sam Wood

One player who made their debut at The Riverside was Sam Wood. The 20-year-old academy graduate came off the bench with 12 minutes remaining for the injured Papa Souare.

Speaking to Palace TV he said:

“It’s mixed emotions really.

“Obviously I’m really disappointed to be out of the cup but very happy to have made my debut.

“I’m just trying to learn every day in training and, even in the game today, I’m learning all the time. That’s all I’m trying to do at the moment.

“My dad and my sister were in the stands so it was really nice, they came up to support and I saw them at the end.”