'An element of panic' might help Palace - Hodgson - London Football News

‘An element of panic’ might help Palace – Hodgson

Roy Hodgson will encourage his Crystal Palace players to “panic” if it inspires them to Premier League survival.

On Saturday they visit Bournemouth where three vital points will move them closer to safety, ahead of a potentially-forgiving run against Brighton, Watford, Leicester, Stoke and West Brom.

Their manager has previously succeeded amid the intense pressure to avoid relegation – with Fulham in 2008 he led them to safety on the season’s final day – and where it is widely accepted those who remain composed will prevail.

The 70-year-old Hodgson’s vast experience means he also remains a consistent figure regardless of his team’s results, but despite that and conventional wisdom suggesting they need to remain calm, the Palace manager said: “Maybe an element of panic might be good for them. Maybe it will bring an extra edge to their game.

“We have got to find every means possible to get that extra edge that is going to get us over the line. So telling the players not to panic, it is a simple thing to do. But the bottom line is, one way or another, we have got to find a way of producing performances which will get us wins in some of these games.

“Up to now we have produced some performances but it has not given us the results. So if you can convince me that if these lads start panicking they will start getting results then we will panic.

“You have got to make sure the players are aware, do not look for excuses, do not start talking about justice and fairness, luck and bad luck. Talk and think about one thing only. ‘What can I do as a player on the field to make certain my team gets a result this weekend?'”

The fit-again James Tomkins is expected to return to Palace’s central defence, where he will resume his promising partnership with Mamadou Sakho, but Christian Benteke faces a late fitness test that will determine whether he remains their only available, recognised senior striker.

A potential groin injury suffered in training on Thursday could mean Benteke will join Alexander Sorloth and Connor Wickham in being ruled out.

“It is not to do with calmness,” Hodgson continued on Palace’s pursuit of survival. “It is to do with accepting situations and being totally committed to working hard to change what can be changed. No wasting time, energy and focus on things you cannot.

“But I do not regard myself as a calm person. So whenever people describe me as being calm, I know it is not strictly true. I do not think calm people make football coaches. I do not think football coaches are calm people.

“We are energetic, enthusiastic, even to some extent volatile people. That is what coaching is. If you want to be a good coach you need to have some of those qualities.”




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