Friday, 22 September, 2017

Sammy Lee leaves Crystal Palace in backroom shake-up

Crystal Palace vs Southampton Hodgson at the Palace
Angelica Greene | 17 September, 2017, 00:33

Just 81 days and four league games after Frank de Boer had been unveiled to some fanfare, Steve Parish happily purring about a new Palace "DNA", Hodgson struck an altogether more pragmatic tone as he sketched out his vision for the rest of the season.

Hodgson may field deadline-day signing Mamadou Sakho, who played 45 minutes for the development side on Monday, but winger Wilfried Zaha remains out. The player Virgil van Dijk is still lack of fitness and hence he is not expected to be in the match.

"The only comfort I could take is that we got better as the game went on".

"In the past we were a game, now we are a game but also a big business, and we have to accept that". Obviously, I don't like when something like this happens but we have to keep going.

"I don't honestly believe that there is necessarily a lot that needs to be done", he told Palace TV. The players care and they hurt and you couldn't say they weren't trying.

Crystal Palace are chasing a third successive home victory against Southampton.

Saints, who had last scored when they beat West Ham United 3-2 at home on August 19, notched their second win to move up to provisional fifth spot on eight points before the afternoon kickoffs, while Palace are rooted to the bottom of the table.

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In doing so they set an unwanted record by becoming the first side in top-flight history to lose their opening five matches without scoring.

Their pursuit of a first Premier League goal of the campaign is now longer than Newcastle's wait of 438 minutes in the 2005-06 season. Palace broke that record as they passed the 78th minute.

It was a bad start for Croydon-born Hodgson, and with league games against Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea coming next, there is no obvious prospect of things improving in the near future.

Hodgson was not the first manager - nor will he be the last - reduced to rubble by "the impossible job" but, at 69 years old, it appeared his career was over.

Saints have failed to score in nine of their last 12 Premier League matches.

From then on though neither side created much, with Southampton having only scored twice in open play this season themselves.

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