Roy Hodgson takes his players to north London for the match against Arsenal on Saturday afternoon on the back of one defeat in twelve games, a run that has seen the side receiving deserved plaudits for their efforts.
Following last Saturday’s victory against Burnley the side sit at 12th place in the table but Hodgson doesn’t want his squad to start believing they have achieved anything with still 15 games to play this season.
“We are still in a relegation battle; we are not alone now as we are a little bit less isolated than we were some months ago and we are happy about that. We are now in a bigger group of teams who must be aware that unless they can keep their form going and picking up points they will end up being involved in a scrap to stay in the league right to the end”. said Hodgson as he called for his players not to drop their guard in the coming weeks.
“That is the message we pass onto the players on a regular basis, which up to now they have simulated perfectly but we know the moment we drop our guard and don’t keep our performances at the level they have been for the last couple of months we will find ourselves down the bottom of the table again. Everyone would like it to be easy but I know it’s not going to be and I hope the players understand that too.
“We haven’t achieved anything as yet at Crystal Palace, after a disastrous start to the season we have managed to get ourselves in a position where we are fighting each week to make certain we are not one of the three to go down.”
Arsenal are in sixth place and return to home territory after their defeat at Bournemouth last week but go into the match on the back of just two wins in six games.
Hodgson though doesn’t pay too much attention to those stats and knows that his side will come up against a Gunners side ready to show a reaction to recent results and will let his players know the level of test ahead of them this weekend.
“I think they will be in a strong state on Saturday and hungry to prove people, who want to write them off, wrong and anxious to show their home fans what a really good football team they are with a number of very good players in their ranks.
“Unless we prepare ourselves for the very best Arsenal team that is out there we will be very foolish.”
Watch the full Roy Hodgson pre-match press conference or if viewing on the App go to Palace TV and into the video channel.