Hodgson sees silver lining after wretched run

LONDON • Crystal Palace's new manager Roy Hodgson said he could see some light at the end of the tunnel after his first win lifted some of the gloom over Selhurst Park on Tuesday.

Hodgson's first game in charge on Saturday ended in a 1-0 defeat by Southampton, condemning Palace to a fifth successive Premier League loss without scoring a goal and kept them rooted to the bottom of the table. They are also the only team who have yet to pick up a single point this season.

However, Bakary Sako's 12th-minute header earned a 1-0 win against Huddersfield Town in the League Cup third round, with Palace having lost to the promoted side on the opening day of the season under Frank de Boer, who was sacked last week.

With league games against Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea looming, Palace could be in for some more pain, but Hodgson said he took some encouragement from Tuesday's win.

"I'm very pleased with the win and the first-half performance," he said.

"We still have a lot of work to do tactically with the players until we are satisfied that we can produce the level of the first-half performance for a longer period.

"However, it would be very churlish of me not to praise the players and I am very happy with the contribution tonight."

Hodgson has performed relegation-saving marvels at West Bromwich Albion and Fulham, but Palace's plight represents a huge challenge for the 70-year-old former England manager.

He was, however, unfazed by the seemingly improbable task in front of him.

"You don't repair the damage we've suffered overnight. It's going to be a long, hard process, but I know that there's light at the end of the tunnel and saw some shards tonight," he said.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2017, with the headline 'Hodgson sees silver lining after wretched run'. Print Edition | Subscribe