April 26, 2018

No easy fix for struggling Palace, says Hodgson

18 September 2017, 12:39 | Sheila Mcguire

Wilshere talks to Arsene Wenger during training as he prepares to return to the first team

Wilshere talks to Arsene Wenger during training as he prepares to return to the first team

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.

It means that Palace still sit rock bottom of the Premier League after five games - and still haven't even scored a goal.

West Brom were Hodgson's last job in club management before he left to take the England position in 2012, and the short but sweet spell he spent in charge at the Hawthorns provides a reasonable barometer for what to expect at Crystal Palace.

Crystal Palace chief Steve Parish has made a bit of a mug of himself after saying everybody should calm down after only a few defeats, with it then emerging that Palace started looking for a new boss before the global break - only two weeks into the season.

Hodgson on what lies ahead: "It is painful today and I fear it is going to be painful in some of the moments going forward". In the next three PL games, Crystal Palace face Manchester City and Manchester United away from home, and then return to Selhurst Park to face up against Chelsea (with the added caveat that their two loanees will be unable to play against their parent clubs). "I can see you're walking, you're not doing it", was one of Hodgson's favourite phrases as he worked time and again on team shape.

Hodgson's Palace side could hardly be faring worse this season, now sitting rock bottom of the Premier League table without a point to their name after four games. Mario Lemina shone in midfield during an impressive all-round display by Mauricio Pellegrino's side, who brought on Virgil van Dijk as a late substitute, the defender having failed to get the summer exit he sought.

Speaking to Sky Sports, the 70-year-old said "The desire was there but unfortunately it was a frantic desire".

As well as working his players hard at Palace's Beckenham-based training ground, Hodgson also said he would also have to work on their confidence, with it clear that they have a severe lack of that right now.

He is very active on Twitter and when in conversation with Newcastle fans, has often been keen to make petty jibes about NUFC.

"We have got the squad of players that we have, and we need to work on them and improve the strengths and cover up the weaknesses".

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