Hodgson deflects focus away from Crystal Palace contract situations
Roy Hodgson has told Crystal Palace not to consider giving out new contracts until their Premier League status is secure for another season.
Victory over West Brom on Saturday would move the Selhurst Park outfit onto 37 points, which has been enough to secure survival in each of the last four seasons.
Palace are currently 13th and eight points clear of third from bottom Fulham. But top flight status for an eighth consecutive campaign is not yet official.
Once relegation has been staved off again, Hodgson, who is out of contract in the summer, expects the club to turn their focus to the future with the deals of up to 11 players also set to expire come the end of the season.
The 73-year-old said: “As far as I am concerned it is all about making certain we get through these next games in particular and get ourselves into a position where we can perhaps feel even more comfortable than we do at the moment with regard to our status next season.
“And that will be the time I’m sure for the club to really look into these contract situations but at the moment there are big games ahead and not least of all the one coming up.
“I think that is where all our focus should be and there is no need if you like for anybody here to look further beyond that.”
Allardyce: Palace is must-win for WBA
Sam Allardyce says his West Brom must win their next game away to Crystal Palace in order to have any chance of staying up after the goalless draw with Newcastle.
Palace saw their three-match unbeaten run end at Tottenham on Sunday, but they were able to welcome Wilfried Zaha back from a hamstring injury during the 4-1 defeat.
The Eagles top goalscorer came on at half-time following a month out and should face old manager Sam Allardyce on Saturday.
If selected to start, it will be Zaha’s first chance to “stand tall” instead of take the knee prior to kick-off after he stated at the Financial Times’ Business of Football summit last month the gesture was “something that we just do now and that’s not enough for me.”
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Hodgson, who spoke about the subject ahead of last weekend’s defeat at Tottenham, added: “Wilf is of the opinion that taking the knee now isn’t showing his abhorrence as much as he would like so he has decided to do something different.
“But as a team they have decided they will continue to do what other teams are doing and this decision of Wilf’s is very much a personal one which we all respect and the team has no problem with it whatsoever.
“It will just mean when the players take a knee, Wilf will show his opposition to racism and everything that’s going on in the way he thinks is the strongest way to do it.”
Palace squad depleted for West Brom game
Palace remain without a number of players for the visit of West Brom, including former Baggies defender Nathan Ferguson.
A knee injury and then a recent thigh issue has stopped the full-back from making his Eagles debut following his summer arrival. But he could be ready after the international break and has recently trained with the Under-23s.
“His progress is very encouraging and I am very pleased for him,” Hodgson said. “He has done a good job and the medical staff have to make certain that when he comes to join us, he should be fully fit and ready to go.”
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