Roy Hodgson says his players will not be lacking in motivation during the run-in despite their position above the relegation zone, as he warned of the quality of the Chelsea side preparing to take on Palace at Selhurst Park.
“A lot of the motivation has to come from the players themselves,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “Each Premier League game is an occasion by itself, watched by tens of millions of people from around the world.
“For me, I don’t think the players should need extra motivation going into these last eight games. I’m fortunate that I have a very good group of players, a very experienced group of players but a very professional group of players.
“I’d be very surprised to see any failings of motivation for the rest of the season.”
Hodgson explained that the buffer to the relegation zone could be a positive influence on the run-in.
“It’s been an unusual season,” he said. “We’ve had one or two strange results that are very unlike the Crystal Palace results that we’re prone to get.
“But as far as we’re concerned it’s a constant search for getting better, to becoming a better team, to see what we preach to the players working on the field of play.
“It’s an advantage now that we’ve got ourselves a good distance from the relegation zone, which will hopefully give the players a new confidence.”
Chelsea arrive at Selhurst Park on Saturday on the back of a surprise 2-5 defeat to West Bromwich Albion last time out, a result Hodgson says Palace can look to for encouragement.
“I regard the West Brom game as one of those one-off games that happens,” he said. “I don’t think it will have any affect on what they bring to the table when they face us.
“West Brom played exceptionally well. They were well worth their victory and I think that’s accepted by all – I don’t think Chelsea had any qualms about accepting that on the day West Brom were very good and deserved the win.
“It just goes to show that however good they are, they aren’t invincible. The task doesn’t become any easier because West Brom have beaten them, but it might just put a doubt in their mind that they aren’t invincible.
“I suppose that gives us some hope that after playing West Brom and Porto, it might be harder for them to play a third game in a week, and if we produce a performance against them we may be able to get a good result like West Brom.”
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