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Roy Hodgson calls speculation over his Crystal Palace future ‘disrespectful’

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Dec 2023

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Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson branded speculation he could be replaced by ex-Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper as “disrespectful” after his side snapped an eight-match winless streak with a 3-1 home victory over Brentford.

Influential duo Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise, who have both sat out lengthy spells in the first half of the season, started alongside each other for just the third time this term and were responsible for all three of the Eagles’ goals, with Olise bagging his first Premier League brace.

The hosts entered the contest just three points above the relegation zone, leaving some suggesting a loss to the only side in worse form than Hodgson’s own could spell the end of his second spell in south London.

Asked about the Cooper rumours, Hodgson said: “I’m 76 years of age. I’ve been working 47 years, I’ve got a CBE for my services and I’ve got a CV which is incredible, so my final answer to you is that makes no difference or has any interest to me at all, and to suggest that it should is disrespectful.”

Saturday’s victory marked just the second occasion Palace have won at home this season, and the first time this campaign both Olise and Eze have scored in the same contest.

Hodgson has been quick to defend his squad amid an injury crisis, pointing out in the programme that he and right-hand man Ray Lewington have never coached a fully-fit squad through 20 games this season.

Olise enjoyed an outstanding afternoon, cancelling out Keane Lewis-Potter’s second-minute opener before Eze fired the hosts ahead before the break and Olise added a second in the 58th minute.

There was potentially worrying news for Hodgson, however, after Olise appeared to pull up in the closing stages.

He said: “I spoke to him and he didn’t seem overly concerned. I spoke to the doc and he wasn’t sort of shaking his head suggesting he needs a scan tomorrow, we will have to fear the worst, he wasn’t doing that.

“But of course we won’t know until he gets back into training and we assess him and look at it, but it would be really, really unlucky and I don’t think it was a major snapping or muscle.”

Thomas Frank’s side, who have also endured their fair share of fitness woes, fell to a club-record fifth consecutive Premier League defeat.

The Bees had two good chances in the second half from Yoane Wissa and substitute Neal Maupay, who clipped the crossbar, but never found the finishing touch.

Frank, asked about his composure, said: “I would say I’m burning inside because I lost a football match, but I know the quality of our squad and I know some players are coming back.

“Of course, we’d like to win a game soon, but I also know that I need to remain calm and be in control of everything. That’s what we’ve done the five years I’ve been here. It’s luckily been mostly ups and a few downs. We all come through them in a good them.”

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