'I am a football addict' - Roy Hodgson explains his Crystal Palace return

Evening Standard

Roy Hodgson got to work at Crystal Palace on Wednesday as he explained why he could not resist the opportunity to return to management at the age of 70.

Hodgson is back in football just over a year since he quit as England manager after the dismal defeat by Iceland at Euro 2016.

He signed a two-year contact to succeed Frank de Boer and took his first training session alongside assistant Ray Lewington on Wednesday morning.

Hodgson is the oldest-ever Premier League managerial appointment and wants to repair his reputation after his four-year spell in charge of England ended in humiliation.

Asked what still motivates him, Hodgson said: "That is a question a lot of my friends will ask, especially the ones who are sitting at home with a glass of wine and a cigar.

READ MORE: Dele Alli ‘could break Neymar’s transfer record next year’

READ MORE: ‘Fatboy’ Tevez left out of Shanghai Shenhua despite costing £615,000 a week

READ MORE: Gossip - Liverpool ‘target de Vrij’, Ozil ‘to go for free’, Carvalho ‘wants to join West Ham’

"Unfortunately, a long time ago someone injected the drug called football into my veins and I have never been able to shake it off. I am still an addict.

"What motivates me is the feel, working with players, dealing with the day-to-day problems both on the field and off the field, being around football players."

Hodgson, born in Croydon, started his coaching career in 1976 and has returned to the club he watched growing up and played for as a schoolboy.

"I am very excited to be back in club football," he said. "It has been a while since I enjoyed the day-to-day training and I’m back where I most like to be which is on the training field."

Hodgson inherits a side bottom of the Premier League and without a point or a goal from their first four matches.

He insists "there is not much to be done" to turn things around but has outlined the need to get the best out of Christian Benteke, Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend. His first match will be when Palace play Southampton at home on Saturday.

Hodgson said: "That trio were a threat, they did very well last season, especially towards the end. So I have got no reason to believe they cannot do it again."

Palace have turned to Hodgson after they sacked De Boer after just 77 days in charge.

Hodgson has brought Lewington, his assistant from Fulham and England, with him and Sammy Lee has left the coaching staff.

Lewington spent time at Palace as a coach in the mid-1990s and Hodgson said: "He is top class, someone who I trust."

What to read next

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes