Roy Hodgson addresses long-term Crystal Palace future after sealing Premier League survival

·2-min read
 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Roy Hodgson refused to discuss his future beyond the end of the season, despite steering Crystal Palace to Premier League safety with four games still to go.

Hodgson cut short his retirement to return to Selhurst Park and take charge of a side who had been sleepwalking into a relegation battle under Patrick Vieira after a run of 12 League games without a win.

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The upturn in the Eagles’ form has been remarkable, with Saturday’s 4-3 victory over West Ham making it four wins from six matches since Hodgson’s comeback.

That result also makes Palace the first of the division’s relegation contenders to reach the 40-point mark and Hodgson’s side now looked well-placed to finish comfortably in mid-table. The 75-year-old is not, however, getting carried away with the idea he could continue in his post into next season.

“I’m not prepared to talk about that at all,” Hodgson said. "What happens after the season will happen. At the moment, I shall enjoy this last month and I’ll make no comments whatsoever.

“It’s kind of you to ask the question but I prefer to say nothing. Otherwise I’ll come to James Tomkins’ amusing comment of: ‘What are you looking for? Another gold watch?’ - which I’m not!”

Hodgson answered Palace’s SOS during the March international break, with the south London club 12th but just four points off the bottom of the division, and the former England boss admitted even he had been surprised by the speed with which survival has been secured.

"I suppose I’m surprised because I didn’t know the players,” he added. "If I had known the quality there was here to work with then perhaps I wouldn’t have been quite so surprised, but I had to find that out.

Safety: Crystal Palace have reached the famous 40-point mark with four games to go (AFP via Getty Images)
Safety: Crystal Palace have reached the famous 40-point mark with four games to go (AFP via Getty Images)

“We are where we are purely because we do have good players, purely because the club’s recruitment has been so good in rejuvenating a bit the team that I worked with, of which I must add I’m very proud. But it was rejuvenated, some other guys brought in who’ve done an exceptional job.

“Really now, the club can look forward towards a platform from where they can hope to push forward. But if I can also say there that pushing forward might still be finishing between 12th and 8th in the table because you have to be very careful about that. All the time that a club like ours can be in that kind of position, we shouldn’t be too disappointed.”