Hodgson Returns To Palace As Interim Boss Until End Of Season

The rumours were true and the interim successor to Patrick Vieira is the man he replaced, Roy Hodgson.

The former Fulham, West Brom and England manager has been appointed boss until the end of the season.

Whether we like the decision or not, it perhaps makes a little sense and allows the board to make the right decision in the summer. That is being kind and there are no excuses given the time they now have to get what is a crucial appointment right and as soon as practical once the season is over.

Having said that, Roy Hodgson and his sidekick Ray Lewington who will be working with Paddy McCarthy stepping in as assistance manager, have a challenge on their hands to get this squad of players fired up for the remaining 10 games of the Premier League season.

Palace are currently 12th in the table, but only three points above the relegation zone following their defeat at the hands of league leaders Arsenal on Sunday.

In the 10 games that remain, the Eagles face 8 of the 9 teams below them in the table which, as we said in our reaction piece to the sacking of Vieira, is perhaps unfair that the Frenchman did not get the opportunity to see out the season after a very tough fixture list to date.

Regardless, the challenge is now with Roy, Ray, and Paddy to navigate us safely through to the end of the season.

The problem the board have, and incidentally of their own making, is that it is unlikely to have any real interested parties wanting to take the job until safety is assured. Should the worst happen, the pool of candidates will be significantly less and of a lesser calibre.

Hodgson’s first game in charge to kick off his second spell in charge of the Eagles will be when Leicester City come to visit on April Fool’s Day.

There is a huge amount of unrest among the Palace support, which is directed at the board. The disappointment, frustration and plenty of apathy is real after being sold the idea of a brave new direction Palace were heading in on the appointment of Vieira. Now we suddenly find ourselves stepping back to what is deemed a safe pair of hands in Hodgson.

Let’s face it, Roy and Ray deserve our support, as do all the players for the duration of the run in to the end of the season. They do not deserve our anger or angst if we are to get out of this mess together. Hodgson as interim boss is only acceptable if the right man comes in once the season is done, and there are no excuses for that appointment not to be made shortly as soon as possible, whether survival be achieved or not.

If it was always going to be an interim manager, there is probably no denying that Hodgson was the most sensible candidate, but we will have to see how that pans out. He knows the club and will be a very good influence on Paddy McCarthy as his education at the top level continues after his debut in the dugout at the Emirates at the weekend.

Hodgson knows the club and a fair number of the players in the squad, but he must find a way of getting Palace scoring goals, as the side were hard to beat under Vieira so the defensive side should not need a huge amount of attention.

It is hugely disappointing that we find ourselves in this position but now is the time to get behind the manager and the players. Remember, the decisions that have been made is on the board, not them, so they deserve our full support. The frustration at the board can wait for the moment, there are more pressing matters at hand right now.

We have the players to get us out of this mess before we can move on and see what another summer of change will bring. For now, let’s add our support at every one of these remaining 10 games and do our bit to help us through this testing period.

If it all goes wrong, then we know where the blame should be firmly directed.

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