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Hodgson praises Palace's sustained Premier League survival

5 April 2019

When Roy Hodgson was born, Crystal Palace were just set to begin their 17th consecutive season in the Third Division South before, 10 years later, dropping to the Fourth Division: the lowest the club has ever been.

Since those days - days when Hodgson used to watch atop of the crowd-controlling metal bars - the Eagles have soared to the top of the English footballing pyramid on seven separate occasions and are now enjoying their longest ever run in the top flight.

It's not been an easy run but it has been achieved and now, sitting in 13th, it appears that Hodgson may be close to guiding Palace into a seventh back-to-back Premier League season; furthering our longest stint at the top.

Casting his mind back to some of his earlier days, the now 71-year-old leader drew a sharp distinction between then and now, saying: "It’s going to be another tough game on Saturday but we’ll take each game as it comes - that’s all we can do, and keep believing.

"Keep believing that we’ll be preparing at the end of this season for yet another year in the Premier League which, if you’re Crystal Palace and you’re going into your seventh year [in the Premier League] that’s not a bad achievement you know.

"To be fair, when I saw Crystal Palace as a boy lose their place in the Third Division South and take their place in the newly formed Fourth Division, seven years at the high level we’ve been playing at here, now, would have been a pipe dream."

But today's football world is far different to that which existed in 1958, and Hodgson also went some way to explaining just what survival looks and feels like in one of Europe's most competitive, talented leagues.

"I’m afraid there’s quite a few of us looking over our shoulder as there always will be until such time as you can relax knowing that the teams below you can’t catch you," he said.

"There’s an element of realism: we look at each other’s fixtures and realise how hard it’s going to be to get points because the bottom line is that when you go and you play these tops teams, you are playing against teams that start with a huge advantage in terms of their playing personnel. We come to terms with that, we work at it and do our best."

Newcastle United provide the next challenge for Palace, another club looking over their shoulder in the Premier League. To stay up-to-date with how the Eagles fare against them, make sure to grab your Palace Audio pass for just £1.49.

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