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Roy Hodgson believes that the Forest game will be his last in charge of Palace

Roy Hodgson says that the upcoming Premier League season finale against Nottingham Forest will mark his final match in charge of Crystal Palace. However, he did not completely rule out the possibility of extending his tenure with the club.

Following the dismissal of Patrick Vieira, Hodgson, who has a strong emotional connection to the team as his boyhood club, assumed the managerial role for the second time on a short-term agreement. Under his guidance, Palace has accumulated 17 points from nine games, securing a comfortable position above the relegation zone.

The team’s impressive transformation under Hodgson’s leadership has led to speculation about his potential appointment on a longer-term basis. Nevertheless, the 75-year-old manager stated that such considerations were not currently occupying his thoughts.

“As far as I’m concerned, this is my last game,” Hodgson said. “I signed a contract here until the end of the season and I was grateful to do so. All along, I have seen this as my last game on my contract and as far as I’m concerned that’s what it is.”

When asked if he would be open to staying on if asked by chairman Steve Parish, Hodgson added: “I don’t know. I’ll wait until that day arrives if it ever arrives. At the moment I don’t have to concern myself with that.

“What’s on my table is to see my contract out, thank everyone for the last two and a half months and hopefully help the team get a result…I hope to leave all my options open.”

Zaha might’ve played his last for Crystal Palace

Hodgson verified that Wilfried Zaha, who is set to become a free agent this summer, will be absent from Sunday’s match due to injury. This development raises the likelihood that the highly sought-after forward may have already played his last game for the club.

“Wilfried’s injury was sufficiently severe to keep him out of the next game,” Hodgson said. “He’ll need a week or two more to recover, so it won’t keep him out of next season. He will be fit for pre-season, but we won’t have the benefit of him on Sunday.”

Former England manager Hodgson has provided some guidance to 24-year-old Palace forward Ebere Eze, who is celebrating his first international call-up. Eze has been included in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the upcoming matches against Malta and North Macedonia next month.

Hodgson gives England advice to Eze

“The advice basically, after the congratulations. Because as you say I am delighted for him. I’m happy Gareth (Southgate) and Steve (Holland) have seen what we have seen in him as well. but the only advice I can give him is to be himself,” he said.

“Go there and be relaxed enough to show how good he is. Show how good he is in training when he is here. If he does that, Gareth and Steve will be more than happy with him.”

Both teams can approach Sunday’s match at Selhurst Park without pressure. Nottingham Forest’s victory over Arsenal in their previous game ensured they will not face relegation in their first season back in the Premier League.

“[Cooper] has done a very good job,” Hodgson said. “In particular I think the last five games they have had an incredible upsurge in form. They have taken 10 points from their last five games. That’s top of table form not avoiding relegation form.

“They have taken everyone by surprise at the bottom who are fighting relegation because many clubs thought they wouldn’t do that well. Hats off to him, hats off to his players and staff. It was very touching last weekend when they beat Arsenal and you saw the scenes after the game.

“It makes you realise how much staying in this league and doing well means to everyone. not just to your staff and people at the club but also to the fans.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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