Roy Hodgson sets sights on Crystal Palace survival
By AFP | Published: 16th September 2017 11:15 AM |
LONDON: New Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said on Friday he is convinced the struggling club can survive in the Premier League despite a woeful start to the season that has left them rock-bottom.
The former England manager this week signed a two-year contract to succeed Frank de Boer after the Dutchman was sacked following defeats in all four league fixtures without a single goal.
The 70-year-old is preparing his team to face Southampton at Selhurst Park on Saturday, 15 months after resigning as England boss when sent packing from Euro 2016 by minnows Iceland.
"I believe the team will stay up," Hodgson said at his first press conference as Palace manager. "Absolutely. I wouldn't have taken the job if I didn't believe that, or that me and my coaching staff would be the people to do that.
"There's never been any doubt in my mind. It could be a good year if it ends up with Palace in the Premier League and the fans happy. That would make me very happy."
The former Liverpool manager said the division had "evolved" in the five years since he was last a Premier League boss but he remains convinced he will lead Palace to safety.
Hodgson said he has got over the disappointment of the way his reign as England manager ended.
"Matches do get lost when you're a football coach, particularly in tournament football and the tournament is over," Hodgson said of the Iceland defeat, which came to define his four years with England.
"I enjoyed my time with England -- a huge honour. I have very good memories of those times, the people and players I worked with. But it's over. That time has gone. That chapter is finished. I'm focused on the next one: Crystal Palace, Crystal Palace, Crystal Palace."
Hodgson said he was looking forward to the new challenge.
"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. That would be special because I am a Croydon boy and didn't leave here until I was 24 years of age."