Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson delivered his Crystal Palace farewell after his final home game in charge of the Eagles ended in a last-gasp defeat.
Crystal Palace slipped to a late defeat in their final home match under the guiding hand of Hodgson. Despite the result, the Selhurst Park crowd were in loud voice throughout the contest, with the vast majority staying after the match to pay tribute to their departing manager.
Speaking post-match on the pitch, the 73-year-old said: “I’m disappointed we didn’t get a better result tonight. Our second-half performance deserved better.
“We would so much have liked to finish the season here with a good result and sent you home a bit happier. It’s been wonderful to see you back here. The noise you made and support you made was first class and spurred the players on.
“As I said many times yesterday it’s been a real privilege to manage this club. I’ve been blessed with a fantastic group of players. We were very close to winning tonight. That’s what you’ve made to some extent by your support.
“I shall miss everyone. I shall miss football. It’s been a fantastic journey for me and I’ve really enjoyed the last four years. I know I’m leaving the club in a very good place and you’ll se a lot of good Premier League football next season.”
Expanding further on his Palace managerial tenure to the BBC, Hodgson added: “It’s been exceptionally good. I never really envisaged it. From being on the terraces at the age of five and finish managing team at age of 73 – it’s something of a fairytale or like Roy of the Rovers. It’s been a privilege.
“I’m delighted with the reception they gave me. It seem they appreciated me as much as I appreciated them and that’s a nice feeling.”
On his favourite moment at Palace: “In a year or so I might say tonight was the standout moment. A guard of honour, people cheering you throughout and the reception at the end.
“Not all managers have experienced that in their life. It was a nice feeling. I’m sure that will mean more to me than the odd game or good performance I remember.”
Townsend lauds “incredible” Hodgson
Crystal Palace midfielder Andros Townsend hailed Hodgson while speaking with the BBC, saying: “I owe the last eight years of my career to him.
“He gave me a chance at the age of 22 for England, my first 11 caps and 100 Premier League games. He’s made me into a better player, into a better man. I wish him the best.
“He’s been incredible. Palace are seen as a Premier League outfit and that’s down to him. Before him we were flirting with relegation every year. He’s made us a solid Premier League outfit.”