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Football Reporting


Kouyate: Crystal Palace must stay focused after Aston Villa defeat

The Senegal international has urged the Eagles to look forward to bouncing back from their loss against the Claret and Blue Army

Cheikhou Kouyate has encouraged Crystal Palace to stay focused on returning to winning ways after suffering a 3-0 defeat against Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

The 31-year-old featured prominently as the Eagles suffered their seventh Premier League loss of the season at Villa Park.

Goals from Burkina Faso international Bertrand Traore, Kortney Hause and Anwar El Ghazi ensured Villa’s victory in the encounter.

The defeat ensured Roy Hodgson’s men dropped to the 14th spot on the Premier League table after failing to add to their 18 points so far earned in the campaign.

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Kouyate has urged his side not to dwell much on the defeat but to look forward to securing victory when they take on Leicester City in their next league outing on Monday.

“After they lost a man we said in the second half we were going to come out to try and score but after two more goals it’s very hard to take,” Kouyate told the club website

“We tried to do everything but today is not our day. We just need to stay positive and continue to work hard because sometimes you have this moment in the season. We need to stay together.

“We need to talk and stay focussed for Monday because we have another big game.”

Palace are now winless in their last four games, including their 7-0 thrashing by Premier League leaders and reigning champions Liverpool.

Kouyate, who has featured in several roles for Palace this season, will hope to help them halt their unimpressive run against Leicester City.

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The Senegal international has been with the Eagles since the summer of 2018 when he joined the side from West Ham United.

The versatile defender has played in more than 85 games across all competitions for Palace and in the current campaign, he has made 15 appearances.

Kouyate is also an important member of the Senegal national team and has 57 caps for the West African side.

He captained the Teranga Lions to a second-place finish at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and has played a significant role in their 2022 Afcon qualifiers.



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