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Hodgson: 'We've got to be fighting and battling'

5 April 2019

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson spoke today in his weekly press conference ahead of his side's trip north to face Newcastle United.

With the Eagles flying just one place and, even more importantly, one point ahead of the Magpies, the clash is being billed as a crucial fixture between two sides sitting at the lower end of the Premier League's mid-table.

But Hodgson was keen to state that neither he nor his squad have been lulled into any false sense of security, remarking that they must be 'fighting and battling' to earn the points they need to push their way up the table further.

He suggested that while a common view may be that Palace have little to do to ensure their safety, their determination hasn't waned one bit.

"We haven't actually gone out saying we’re safe. We can't stop the general opinion that's out there - we realise we need more points and we also realise we’ll be coming across some very good teams that'll make it hard for us to get those points. It's important for us to be in a position that we’re our best when we go on the field.

"Hopefully, we can start producing our best football because we know on our day - when we produce our best football - we can provide a match for any team.

"We don’t take anything lightly going into these last six games, we realise we’ve got to be fighting and battling and doing all the things we need to do to get points on the board."

Focussing specifically on this Saturday's test - the first of Palace's last six games - Hodgson was keen to praise Newcastle and remarked that the match will be a challenging fixture, particularly at St James' Park.

He said: "They have an incredible support up there, a good team and are very strong at home which we’re aware of. I have no doubt they’ll be safe at the end of the season.

"When you go to places like Newcastle where the fans are as football focussed as they are, there's no doubt that the people who go to that game have one thought in their mind: to see their team beat you. It's a big ask to go there and win games. It's a short turnaround for us this week which is never easy but I'm hoping I'll see a good reaction and we'll go up and give them the type of game which will enable us to pick up points."

You can listen to live commentary of Crystal Palace's progress tomorrow against Newcastle by grabbing your Palace Audio pass here now for just £1.49.

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