Roy Hodgson says Palace will go to Arsenal and Manchester City this week with the belief they can come away with a positive result.
“We know how difficult it’s going to be to keep that run going,” he said on the back of hard-fought results against Leicester City and Sheffield United. “But it’s nice to have those four points in the bag.
“We still have reason to be relatively confident and to believe that we can go to both of these very difficult stadia, playing against these top teams, and give ourselves a chance of coming away with a result.”
Speaking at his pre-Arsenal press conference, the manager said that Palace’s encouraging start to the season had eased the pressure on such tough fixtures.
“We need points from Arsenal and Manchester City away from home. We know how big that challenge is but the great thing is we do it on the back of the 22 points we already have. To some extent, the knife is taken away from the players’ throats.
“Hopefully we can trust our play, trust our own form, trust the quality of players we have to make certain that we can give both of these games a very very good go. If you’re able to do that, and you’re prepared, then in every game of football things happen. Sometimes they happen for you, sometimes they happen against you.
“You’re always hoping you’re good enough to stay in the game and enable bits of fortune out there to go your way.”
Palace are boosted by Gary Cahill’s return to full training, with the defender available for selection against Arsenal. Cahill has been sidelined since suffering a hamstring injury before Christmas.
Hodgson responded to Mikel Arteta’s description of football management as a ‘drug’.
“To still be here after so many years would prove his point with a vengeance in a way! It’s a good drug – it’s a drug we have chosen to take because we love the game so much.
“We’re so passionate about what we do and you’re very fortunate if you can do it as long as I have. It’s not going to be easy for younger managers because the pressures don’t get any easier over the years and the stress levels don’t get any less.
“I’m very privileged and lucky to be in it as long as I have been. I still enjoy it and I hope to continue for some while to come.”