“Had we played a week after the West Bromwich Albion game – which was a very solid game – we’d still have had that fresh in our minds,” he said in his pre-match interview with Sky Sports, “but two and a half weeks in football seems like an eternity.
“I think we’ve got to get back onto the horse very, very quickly. It’s important how we start the game and important how we play the 90 minutes, because it will have a bearing on how we play these last nine games of the season.”
Palace can reach 40 points this evening with a win, but Hodgson says it is the result which is more important than the points tally.
“It would be significant but mostly we want to get a result,” he said. “It’s the first of the nine games we’ve got to play and it would be nice to get off to a good start.
“It’s a long time since we’ve played because we had a two and a half week break since we played West Brom. We’ve had people sent off to international camps.
“So it seems surreal to have a game again with all your first-team players around you but I think that makes it more important that we get off to a good start.”