Hodgson happy at ambitious Palace ahead of Leicester clash

Roy Hodgson says Crystal Palace will not fear going up against Leicester despite the Foxes thrashing Southampton 9-0 last weekend.

The two clubs meet at Selhurst Park on Sunday looking to remain as the surprise packages in the Premier League top six.

Hodgson, who also confirmed he is in talks with the club about extending his contract which runs out at the end of the season, is well aware of the threat the Foxes pose.

“I think you would fear being confronted with a tiger in the jungle, that is what real fear is,” Palace’s manager said.

“We have a lot of respect for Leicester and we are aware they are capable of beating us, but that’s not something we want to happen. We know they have the ability to do it, but we have it in our hands to do something about it.”

The Foxes are third after 10 games while Palace are sixth and although the Eagles are not expected to stay there, Hodgson believes in time they can dream of being a regular in the top six.

Chairman Steve Parish revealed plans for the club to obtain Category One academy status this week so they are not producing players for the elite teams and instead those footballers are remaining at Selhurst Park.

“I certainly see my future here. I enjoy it here, I’m very happy and it is really just a question of being in discussions with Steve and making certain they are as happy with me as I am to be at the club,” Hodgson, who turns 73 next year, said.

“It would be more disappointing for Crystal Palace and Crystal Palace fans if Steve and the owners were saying ‘we don’t have any ambition to become better and we don’t want to do what Leicester are doing this year’ where they have made life extremely uncomfortable for the so-called top six.

“I applaud the thought and the ambition, but for us to get there our fans need to know Steve has got a longer-term plan for that. It is not something we can make happen overnight.

“It is a question of adding the right players and building on what we have been trying to do over the last few years.”

Palace could be missing Andros Townsend for Sunday’s game with a muscle injury, although he will be monitored again on Saturday morning.

Training means Hodgson and his players will not be able to watch England in the Rugby World Cup Final, but he sent Eddie Jones a good luck message.

He added: “I sent him a text and the message would be a massive well done and fantastic congratulations.

“The win against New Zealand, that in itself is something they will remember and dine out on for many years and I only hope now they can bring home the glittering prize.

“I wish Eddie all the best, the team and Owen Farrell and everyone there. Of course when we can, we will get a glimpse of the TV as long as it doesn’t interfere with our training session.”

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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