Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Palace pin hopes on Hodgson for fortune revival

Crystal Palace appointment is not about redemption for Roy Hodgson The 70-year-old is preparing to take charge of his first game at the club
Vera Richards | 16 September, 2017, 01:52

Roy Hodgson has been appointed the new manager of Crystal Palace, the English Premier League club announced Tuesday.

The south London club lost their opening four Premier League games without scoring a goal, the worst start to an English top flight campaign for almost 100 years.

The Dutchman was sacked this week after only 77 days and four top-flight games in charge, with all of those matches ending in defeats without a goal scored to leave Palace bottom of the league and a daunting run of fixtures ahead.

"I certainly get the feeling that there is no doubt in the players' minds the importance of this game and how much it would be a good game to win and it is up to them now, these 11 who are selected to show why they are on the field of play".

One of the key negotiating points for Hodgson in taking the job was that he could bring his former England and Fulham No2 Ray Lewington into Selhurst with him.

His focus now will be on helping secure Palace's Premier League status, with the game against Southampton followed by the visit of Huddersfield in the Carabao Cup before a string of hard league fixtures.

Hodgson, whose first game in charge will be against Southampton on Saturday, had graduated through the youth team ranks at Palace in the 1960s and has spoken of his pride at a homecoming.

"I really enjoyed my time with England, it was a huge honour, I have very good memories of those times and the people and players I worked with but it's over", he added.

"But it's a chapter that's finished, in the past as far as I'm concerned, and now it's a chapter in the book of life opening for me, and one I'm looking forward to, one I'm hoping brings joy to the fans of Crystal Palace".

"I don't honestly believe that there is necessarily a lot that needs to be done", he told Palace TV.

But Hodgson, the oldest manager appointed to a Premier League position, insisted the Eagles could bounce back from their woeful start to the season and remain in the Premier League.

"Our focus is on May, not the end of September. Leagues aren't won or teams relegated in September". I was heartened by what I saw in the Burnley game last week. I saw a team which I thought dominated the game, defended well.

"Everything evolves. The Premier League gets bigger and bigger".

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