Roy Hodgson rubbishes suggestion Crystal Palace are ‘on their holidays’
Roy Hodgson has promised Crystal Palace will stay focused and not let their season drift.
Palace have lost their last four Premier League games and head to Aston Villa this weekend with criticism from Roy Keane ringing in their ears.
The former Manchester United captain said in his role as a Sky Sports pundit that he expected Villa to win Sunday’s game as Palace “are on their holidays”.
But Palace boss Hodgson – whose side were unluckily beaten 3-2 by Chelsea at Selhurst Park on Tuesday – said there would be no let-up from his squad during the final weeks of the campaign.
“I certainly don’t have any fears about the players to keep going and give their level best in the rest of the games,” said Hodgson, whose side have dropped from ninth to 14th in recent weeks.
“I haven’t been disappointed with the way the team has performed during these (post-lockdown) games.
“There have been moments when we’ve done well, in particular the other night when Chelsea knew they’d been very much in a game and were quite fortunate to get away with all three points.
“We’ll be trying to get as many points as we possibly can in these last four games.
“It’s not going to be easy but it will be important to break the losing sequence.”
Influential centre-half Gary Cahill, as expected, will play no further part this season after suffering a hamstring injury against his old club on Tuesday.
But fellow defender Martin Kelly returns to bolster the squad after calf trouble.
“I’m very disappointed to lose Gary,” Hodgson said.
“It couldn’t have happened for us at a worse point in the game, and it couldn’t have happened to a better person in terms of what he’s done for us this season.
“Losing him is an enormous blow and let’s hope he recovers for the start of next season.
“We’ve found ourselves having to play some really difficult games.
“But I thought it was a really good performance from the players against Chelsea, and had Gary not suffered that injury they probably would have not gone 1-0 up in the game.
“We would be sitting here otherwise saying we were good value for 2-2, especially as we hit the inside of the post in the last minute.”
On the test that he expects from relegation-threatened Villa opponents, who are desperate for points, Hodgson added: “Most teams in their position will be looking to come out fighting.
“It’s not their last chance, but if they don’t win that one they will be staring down the barrel of a gun.
“So we do expect them to come out with all guns blazing.”