Crystal Palace star James Tomkins has blasted Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic for a “disgusting” tackle on his ankle.

Tomkins returned after missing three games to help the Eagles retain their top-flight status with a 4-0 win over Hull.

It was the former West Ham defender’s first appearance since Palace’s 2-1 win over Liverpool last month, when he injured his ankle after a bad tackle from Grujic.

Tomkins, 28, said: “The challenge was brushed under the carpet a bit too much.

“I don't mind people being competitive, but I thought the challenge was disgusting. I managed to get away with it because it could've been a lot worse.

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“I battled to try to be fit as quickly as I could, I couldn't make Manchester City away last week, but managed to make it this week.

“I’m still getting pain, but it’s not about that, it was about getting the victory against Hull. I was always going to put my all in.”

Tomkins’ absence coincided with Palace’s drop in form as they lost three successive games, conceding eight goals.

And his return to the starting eleven gave Sam Allardyce’s men some much-needed composure at the back.

The Eagles have been plagued with defensive problems this term, and it has forced Allardyce to play right-back Martin Kelly in a central position.

Wandsworth Times:

Martin Kelly

Centre-backs Scott Dann and Mamadou Sakho are suffering from long-term injuries.

Tomkins added: “We’ve had a lot of injuries in defence. Sakho has been big for us, Scott Dann’s had a long injury and myself, as well.

“Kells [Kelly] is a right-back and he’s been playing as a centre-half so credit to him. He’s stepped in and played really well.”