Huddersfield Town earned praise from the Crystal Palace players and manager after a 2-0 defeat at Selhurst Park on Saturday which confirmed their inevitable relegation from the Premier League.
Wins for Burnley and Southampton sealed Huddersfield’s fate as they joined Derby County in 2007-08 and Ipswich Town in 1994-95 as teams to be relegated with still six games left to play.
Huddersfield, bidding for only their fourth league win of the season, troubled Palace early on at Selhurst Park, with the hosts` goalkeeper Vicente Guaita forced into two fine saves.
"When you go into the dressing-room at halftime and get applause from the opponent you must have done something right," Huddersfield manager Jan Siewert said. "But it is not enough to win games in the Premier League."
Spirit only gets you so far and Siewert highlighted how Palace’s first goal, a penalty in the 76th minute, was all too familiar.
"It sums the season up that a penalty decides the direction," Siewert added. "I haven`t counted but we`ve conceded maybe eight to 10 penalties this season," he said.
It is actually seven penalties Huddersfield have given away, with only Brighton conceding more, but Siewert`s problems do not stop there and lack of goals has been the real problem.
Huddersfield have failed to score in 38 of their 70 Premier League games over the last two seasons -- at 54.3 percent the highest such ratio in the history of the competition.
At home is where they have been most disappointing.
They have netted only seven goals on their own patch, six fewer than any other side, meaning they have collected eight points at their own stadium all season, seven less than any other team.
There was at least fight to the end and Hodgson was keen to highlight how difficult a game it was for his side.
"Congratulations to Huddersfield, they are technically relegated but should be proud of their performance because they tested us," Hodgson said.
There was also plenty of spirit shown in the 4-3 defeat at West Ham last time out, but as Huddersfield`s two-year Premier League stay ended prematurely, their inability to turn the fight into points -- having taken four from the last 57 available -- cost them dearly.