Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson admits he is down to the bare bones defensively following Tuesday's 1-0 Premier League victory over Bournemouth at Selhurst Park.
Jeffrey Schlupp came off the bench to replace injured left-back Patrick Van Aanholt after 29 minutes, and scored the winner with 14 minutes remaining to give 10-men Palace all three points, and lift the South Londoners up to fifth place in the Premier League table.
Mamadou Sakho will be suspended for Saturday's trip to Watford after his 19th-minute red card against Bournemouth, while Gary Cahill (knee) and Scott Dann (ankle) are unlikely to be fit, so midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate may again deputise in defence.
"You've got to cope," Hodgson said.
"I'm more concerned in some ways about the injuries to Ward and to Patrick Van Aanholt because that does involve an awful lot of shifting around of players.
"And at centre-back if we lose so many as we had on Tuesday night, there was still Cheik Kouyate to go back there and do an excellent job that he so does so often for Senegal.
"He's capable of playing both positions. Because we have so many centre-backs, we use him in midfield but that doesn't mean to say he’s not a very competent centre-back."
Schlupp says Palace did not change their tactics against Eddie Howe's side despite playing over an hour with ten men.
"Circumstances obviously changed during the game which wasn’t ideal but we stuck to our game plan," he said.
"That definitely wasn't just to sit back and defend, we wanted to win. We had to pick our moments but we managed to do that."
Photo: Getty Images
By Nick Royle