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First Team

Hodgson explains mindset behind facing fond former clubs

13 March 2021

Roy Hodgson explained how he feels when facing former clubs he has fond memories of before Crystal Palace take on West Bromwich Albion, with whom he enjoyed a remarkable 18-months.

The Palace manager has more former sides than most coaches in world football, so has plenty of experience when it comes to putting sentimentality behind him to focus on the task at hand.

First Team

Team news: Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion - Zaha starts

13 March 2021

Speaking with Sky Sports pre-match, Hodgson explained exactly how he's approaching today's game: "The fact is, at any moment in time as a football manager or coach, you only really have one loyalty and that’s to the club that employs you and the players you’re working with," he said.

"You have to maybe look back pleasantly on times you’ve spent elsewhere but they have to be totally forgotten when the match starts. Obviously after the match I shall be wishing West Bromwich Albion well, but today I can only wish them a complete lack of success because we need to do well."

Then turning his attention to whether the Baggies will be a particular challenge due to their fight for survival, Hodgson reiterated his belief that they will of course be tough to handle, but that his players regard every game as equally significant.

He said: "It’s a huge day for us as well [as them]. Every time you play in the Premier League it’s a huge day. We fully realise what this game means to West Brom because if they weren’t to take points it makes their task that much harder but, by the same token, we need points as well to get ourselves further up the table.

"Furthermore, every game you play you want to win so we’re fully primed for the challenge that’s going to come our way. But it’s not going to be an easy one – the players have been made perfectly aware of that."

Finally, the Palace manager ended with a comment on Wilfried Zaha's return to the starting XI:

"I always expect Wilf at full tilt, that's absolutely right. We lamented the fact that he wasn't with us during those four or five games and we had to play without him because we thought our threat up-front wasn't as good as it could have been.

"Now Wilf's back we expect that threat this afternoon to be fully evident."

West Brom programme banner 20-21.jpg

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