Roy Hodgson believes Crystal Palace’s players were ill-suited to Frank de Boer’s coaching style, but is confident he can keep them up.
De Boer was sacked after four games in charge, having lost them all with Palace failing to score – representing the worst start to a Premier League campaign.
Former England manager Hodgson has replaced him, perhaps signalling a return to the staunch defence and organisation that Sam Allardyce employed to keep them in the Premier League last term.
Hodgson, having given international debuts to Palace trio Martin Kelly, Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha, is confident he has a good grip on the style they ought to play in order to thrive.
“It’s very difficult to impose a style of play if you don’t have the players to play it, that’s pretty obvious,” said Hodgson ahead of his first game in charge, Saturday’s visit of Southampton to Selhurst Park.
“I have seen quite a lot of Crystal Palace over the last five years, in particular my four years working with England.
“I have seen Palace progress and also many of the players who are still here and improved.
Roy is set on making the fans happy…
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) September 15, 2017
“I think I have a clear idea of what they’re good at and what they can do, so our style needs to be one that helps us win football matches.
“I have to get to know the players better and know what our best team is. But what I will say is that there a lot of players here who have been at the club a long time who have had a lot of success, helping the club into the Premier League and then keeping them up.
“So anything which has been successful in the past can be continued and one always helps, develops further.”
Hodgson grew up in Croydon, south London, a few short miles away from Palace’s home.
He added: “It’s a chapter in the book of life opening for me, and one I’m looking forward to.
“One I’m hoping brings joy to the fans of Crystal Palace. That would be special because I am a Croydon boy and didn’t leave here until I was 24 years of age.”
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