Crystal Palace confirm Roy Hodgson return as Steve Parish explains U-turn after Patrick Vieira sack

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson

Crystal Palace have confirmed the re-appointment of Roy Hodgson as their manager on a contract until the end of the season.

Hodgson previously managed Palace between September 2017 and May 2021, before making way so that the club could move forward in a new direction. He was replaced by Patrick Vieira, who recently lost his job after a dismal start to 2023.

Some sources had initially doubted whether Palace would sack Vieira because of a lack of available replacements. But, perhaps indicative of that, the Eagles have chosen a short-term fix instead by going back to Hodgson.

Since he left Palace in 2021, the former England manager had a spell in charge of Watford before declaring he wouldn’t be back in Premier League management again.

Now, though, Hodgson has taken the reins for a second spell with Palace, which should last for three months.

He told the club’s official website: “It is a privilege to be asked to return to the club, which has always meant so much to me, and to be given the important task of turning the team’s fortunes around.

“Our sole objective now is to start winning matches, and to get the points necessary to ensure our Premier League status.

“Crystal Palace is known for its fighting spirit, and I have no doubt that all our supporters will fight with us, beginning with the visit of Leicester City a week Saturday.”

Along with Hodgson, his trusted lieutenant Ray Lewington has returned as a first-team coach. Paddy McCarthy will act as assistant manager after taking care of first-team business against Arsenal before the international break.

Parish explains how Roy Hodgson can help keep Palace up

Palace chairman Steve Parish has shed light on why he has chosen the current setup to try and secure Premier League survival for the club.

Parish said: “I would like to welcome Roy and Ray back to the club.

“We are obviously in a very challenging period but we believe that Roy’s and Ray’s experience, knowledge of the club and players, alongside Paddy can help fulfil the immediate requirement of keeping us in the league.”

At the time of Hodgson’s return, Palace find themselves 12th in the table. However, they are just three points above the relegation zone – and some of the teams below them have games in hand.

It is now up to the 75-year-old Hodgson to steady the ship. The first game of his second spell will be against Leicester City at Selhurst Park on April 1.

Beyond that, he will have games against Leeds United (A), Southampton (A), Everton (H), Wolves (A), West Ham (H), Tottenham (A), Bournemouth (H), Fulham (A) and Nottingham Forest (H) to contend with.

It looks to be a fairly favourable run of fixtures after a tough end to Vieira’s reign. Yet Hodgson will have plenty of work to do in order to turn things around in the final stretch of the season.

It remains to be seen where Palace will turn in the summer, but their immediate focus is clear.

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