Roy Hodgson says discipline key for Crystal Palace at Manchester City

PA

Roy Hodgson admits his players will once again have to show “enormous powers of concentration” and discipline if they are to continue their good run of results away at Manchester City.

The Eagles travel to the Etihad Stadium having drawn 2-2 last season and left with a shock victory a year earlier.

Palace will go to Manchester on the back of a goalless draw at Arsenal – a match which they could have easily won after seeing James Tomkins hit the crossbar with a header.

Now Hodgson takes his squad north to take on a City side which has won four league games in a row and will be looking to keep the pressure on the teams above them in the table.

“You can make it difficult for teams but it takes such an awful lot of effort on behalf of players,” he said on getting results against the best teams in the league.

“It’s not so difficult to know what you’ve got to try and stop. That’s not rocket science as such. The difficulty is dealing with the quality of the the players, the quality of their technique

“Even if you get your tactical work right, and your positions on the field right more often than not, and people work hard to keep their positions and take up the right positions, unfortunately a (Kevin) De Bruyne in these teams you play against, can undo you.

“That is a big danger. You do need to have such enormous powers of concentration and discipline in order to not relent, if you like, from what you are trying to do.

“You know the other team have such good quality players, the moment they find those gaps that you’ve worked hard to try and plug, when they get in there, they don’t miss.”

Despite some good recent results against top-six sides – including a win at Manchester United earlier in the campaign – Palace were thrashed 7-0 by Liverpool in December.

Hodgson maintains that rout remains a “one-off” as he aims to inflict more misery on Pep Guardiola this time out.

“That was such a one-off game, a one-off occasion, we simply have to put that in the realm of freak results,” he added.

“On that day Liverpool were exceptionally good but more importantly they took almost every goal chance that they created.

“The players know what they are doing. They know their jobs on the field, they know what we expect of them, and as a result, if all goes well, it’s more than possible that we can keep a clean sheet even against the top teams.

“All you can do is keep working on it and keep hoping that the experience the players get from these matches, or the confidence even, will help you as you go through them.”

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