22 November 2020

Roy Hodgson says he is not fooled by Burnley’s current position

22 November 2020

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has recent experience of being bottom of the league early in the season – which is why he is not writing off Monday’s opponents Burnley.

The former England boss took over at Selhurst Park in September 2017 with the Eagles rock-bottom after losing their first four matches of the campaign without scoring a goal under Frank De Boer.

Hodgson had to wait a further four matches for his first victory and his side did not lift themselves off the foot of the table until their 17th match.

They went on to finish 11th, missing out on a top-half finish and a record-equalling 10th place on goal difference, and so Burnley’s current plight – next-bottom with two points from seven matches – does not fool the experienced Palace manager.

“It is only a few matches into the season and they have played one game less than us anyway, so I’m not paying too much attention to that,” Hodgson said.

Fulham v Crystal Palace – Premier League – Craven Cottage (PA Wire)

“I think it is probably a bit easier for someone like Sean (Dyche), who has been at Burnley for a long time knowing exactly what to do. They have their game-plan firmly established.

“When I came here after those seven games we were on zero points and hadn’t got a well-rounded system and way of playing like I think we have today.

“I’m not sure it was our best season in terms of playing football nut it was almost our highest league finish, finishing 11th on the same points as the team in 10th.

“Strangely enough that was higher than last season when arguably we played better.

“I am pretty certain a guy like Sean Dyche won’t be thinking this is a hopeless task and he will be waiting for the tide to turn.”

I am pretty certain a guy like Sean Dyche won't be thinking this is a hopeless task and he will be waiting for the tide to turn

Palace, by contrast, have begun the season well and after ending the previous campaign with just one point from their final eight matches they have bounced back with 13 from a similar number.

Hodgson believes he has his strongest squad since arriving at Selhurst Park but he will not be getting carried away with the positive signs and reassessing their ambitions.

“Far too early to do that. There is no point after eight games with 30 still to play to be making bold statements about where we’d like to be at the end of the season,” he added.

“It isn’t the way of thinking I have. It really is as simple as taking each game as it comes and trying to get further up the table and then, who knows?

“It will be a question for much later in the season. Just know we are just happy to be where we are and we are committed to adding to that points total.”

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