Frustrated Hodgson reveals ‘test’ he must pass to remain Palace boss

Date published: Saturday 1st May 2021 4:08 - Neil Foster


Manager Roy Hodgson felt Crystal Palace were unlucky to lose to Manchester City on Saturday and admitted his own future is down to the players.

The Eagles went down 2-0 to Pep Guardiola’s side. And the Citizens will now secure the title if Manchester United lose at home to Liverpool on Sunday. The south Londoners held their own in the first half. But two goals within 83 second-half seconds turned the match in favour of the visitors.

Sergio Aguero opened the scoring on 57 minutes before Ferran Torres added another less than two minutes later. City were worthy winners in the end but Hodgson felt things could have been different if his men had enjoyed the rub of the green.

“I’m a bit sad,” he told  MOTD. “I thought at half-time we gave ourselves a chance. I think if we could have just kept that going, who knows?

“Maybe we could have got a lucky bounce and scored a goal. We weren’t without opportunities ourselves, but when the first goal is immediately followed by the second, you’re staring down the barrel of a gun.”

Palace are 13th in the table and 11 points clear of the relegation zone. While not safe mathematically, it would take a bizarre sequence of results for them to go down.

And the former England chief refused to be too downbeat and admits it is tough to compete with the very best.

“Tactically I don’t think I can fault the players too much, far from it. You get undone with teams like Manchester City,” he added. “With their technical ability and athleticism, they’re always making runs in behind. Of course it’s very difficult to keep the ball long enough to ask enough questions.”

Five games to decide Hodgson future

Speculation has been mounting that 2020-2021 will be the veteran’s last in management. He will turn 74 in August and cannot go on forever at the top level.

But, ever the pragmatist, the former Liverpool boss will gauge the mood in the dressing room prior to making a decision.

“We’ve now got five games – one’s away to Liverpool but the others are against teams who aren’t really in the top half,” he continued. “The test will come if there is uncertainty. And if that uncertainty is having an effect on players we will see it in the next five games.”

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