Roy Hodgson takes his side into Sunday’s final game of the season in the knowledge that the club have maintained their Premier League status, the option of that happening with 90 minutes of the season still remaining would be have been one he would have cherished when he walked through the door in January.
Victory in match 38 of the campaign could see the club finish in the top ten of the Premier League and it would leave Hodgson proud of the achievement but also recognising how a team effort has played its part in the success story.
“I am very proud of what the players and the staff have done. At all football clubs it’s the players and the manager who get all the credit, but a club is always about the team behind the team and I have been very fortunate here that everyone has done a very good job, incredible coaching team & medical, sports science and video analysis staff.
“I shall look back on all of it in the summer not only proud of the achievement but also grateful for the fact that it’s gone so smoothly for me and the team because of so much work that has gone on in the background.”
As happens at this time of the season the manager was asked at his pre-match press conference about if his thoughts had already started to turn towards next season and what could be achieved but the experienced boss is keen to take stock of what has is already recorded in this season’s stats books before setting too many targets.
“The biggest danger that can befall a club is losing sight of what is an achievement and what is sensible for the club. We may if we are very lucky and play well at the weekend we could end up somewhere in the middle of the table but we have spent our whole season desperately fighting relegation, and have seen ourselves in the newspapers relegated certainly after seven games in most people’s eyes but also at other times of the season.
"For the club to think about anything other than stabilising what we have managed to achieve in this final part of the season, improving the squad to make certain we don’t find ourselves in the position once again where we are flirting with relegation. My advice to everyone would be to be happy for the time being that we are in the Premier League, as we could so easy have not of have been and in such a difficult league to be in that if you start thinking ‘it’s gone quite well this season and next season we will push on for a European place’ that could be one of the quickest ways to get you relegated that you could look for.”.
Watch the full press conference now or if viewing on the App go to Palace TV along the bottom menu.