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No easy fix for struggling Palace, says Hodgson

17 September 2017

Six minutes had been played when Davis slid a pass into the inside-right channel of the hosts' area which Cédric Soares collected and, having manoeuvred past Palace's left-back Jeffrey Schlupp, redirected towards the six-yard area.

To get his message across to the players, he just practises and practises that from here to eternity. "To win at this ground is not easy and for this reason, we have to be really happy".

"You have to fight for every single point". I think we should have scored another goal but I am happy with the performance.

Hodgson, whose first game in charge will be against Southampton on Saturday, had graduated through the youth team ranks at Palace in the 1960s and has spoken of his pride at a homecoming. Rudderless under Roberto Di Matteo, who ran a laidback regime, they had lost 13 out of 18 matches and had failed to keep a clean sheet for six months when Hodgson rocked up. "We could have scored another goal but playing here is really hard".

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Hodgson's attitude is that individual players should sacrifice themselves for the good of the team.

West Brom turned to Hodgson because he was seen as a safe pair of hands who could give a struggling team some direction.

"I can't change the fixture list, all I can do is encourage the players to be as mentally strong as possible", Hodgson said.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 16: Virgil van Dijk of Southampton gesutres during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Southampton at Selhurst Park on September 16, 2017 in London, England.

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That is part of the reason Hodgson has been more successful with so-called smaller teams in the United Kingdom like Fulham and West Brom than at, say, Liverpool.

Palace will play away to Manchester City in their next Premier League game.

His impact was minimal as his side easily saw out the closing stages, with Palace resorting to hopeful crosses and long balls, as they had for much of the afternoon.

He received a warm welcome from the Palace fans when he walked along the touchline to take his place in the home dug-out.

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No easy fix for struggling Palace, says Hodgson