Roy Hodgson's start at Crystal Palace was awful, but his tactics can help talented Eagles avoid relegation

Tony Evans

Roy Hodgson has received plenty of stick in his time and he has deserved a lot of it.

Yet it was too soon to write off Crystal Palace to relegation before their victory over Chelsea.

The 70-year-old is in his milieu in the bottom half of the table. He can give troubled sides enough structure to keep their heads above water.

Hodgson’s start at Palace was awful, but it took Sam Allardyce about the same amount of time to get a handle on the problems at Selhurst before improvement started.

Palace have enough class to stay up. Their new boss has enough ability to harness that talent.

There are worse teams and managers in the Premier League than Palace and Hodgson.

What they said

Roy Hodgson: "This [improvement] has come quicker than I expected.

"It took us a long while to get anything like this sort of team performance at Fulham; we didn't do it after a month.

"We'd have been into two or three months before we could say, 'Yeah, this is what we want, what we're looking for'.

"Hopefully now the players know that they can do it, because they've done it against the champions, so with 30 games to go, we're never going into a game not feeling that we can get something out of it."