Roy Hodgson insists Crystal Palace can come through ‘bad period’ after Chelsea defeat… as he vows to steer the club away from relegation zone
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Roy Hodgson has insisted he can steer Crystal Palace clear of the Premier League’s relegation zone despite Chelsea’s late, late performance increasing the pressure on the 76-year-old manager.
Jefferson Lerma’s volley gave Palace the lead but Conor Gallagher equalized before Mauricio Pochettino’s men scored twice in stoppage time – first through Gallagher and then Enzo Fernandez as they silenced Selhurst Park.
On a night when Palace fans showed their frustration with the club’s hierarchy with banners branding them ‘weak’, Hodgson said he felt their pain after this defeat.
“It’s a bad period,” said Hodgson, who has next Premier League games against Everton and Burnley. ‘There are 14 games. Lots of games. Many points. We showed enough even in some of the other defeats we had. I have no worries in that regard.
‘But I want to emphasize that there is no complacency. We realize we are on the wrong side of the table. We realize points are needed to climb away from the relegation zone.
Under pressure Roy Hodgson insists he can lead Crystal Palace up the Premier League table
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‘If the question is, do I think this group of players is good enough to get us out of this? I do. They showed a lot tonight which gives me even more faith and belief that they will get there.’
Hodgson added: ‘I feel really sorry for them because to go home and sleep over that defeat is going to be very difficult for everyone. The supporters were very good throughout. They must be exhausted because, like me at 85 minutes, I didn’t think we were going to lose this game.’
Chelsea did consider selling Gallagher in January, but much to the relief of his manager, he stayed.
“He always made up his mind, what he told me, was to stay at Chelsea,” Pochettino said before being asked if he should be linked to a new deal.
Jefferson Lerma broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark with a stunning shot
Conor Gallagher scored twice as Chelsea fought back to beat Crystal Palace
“It’s about him and the club,” the Blues boss added. ‘I don’t suffer from this type of stuff. He has one year left on his contract (expires June 2025). It is a matter for him and the club.’
Chelsea have bounced back since being hammered at home by Wolves – a defeat that has put Pochettino under pressure.
Since then they have beaten Aston Villa in the FA Cup and Palace here.
“I don’t care about the rumours, the tension, the pressure or the tension,” Pochettino said. ‘We know very well what our reality is and we are going to keep working.’