Our morale is still good, insists Palace boss Hodgson

Roy Hodgson is adamant morale at Crystal Palace is good despite an eight-match winless run in the Premier League, five matches without a goal and just two goals at Selhurst Park all season.

Palace’s recent run can be explained by the high calibre of the opposition.

Both home goals, in six matches, were penalties for Luka Milivojevic in the October 28 2-2 draw with Arsenal. Losses to Chelsea and Tottenham followed, before last week’s goalless draw at Manchester United.

Burnley, who are a place behind Palace in 17th, visit Selhurst Park on Saturday, with Hodgson accentuating the positives and the need to convert chances after just eight league goals all season.

“I don’t see any lack of confidence in them (the Palace players), or any lack of belief or faith in the fact we will climb the table,” Hodgson added.

“Of course, to do that, we do need points and to get points we do need to win matches.

“I have confidence in them and I’d be very surprised if they didn’t have quite a lot of confidence in themselves because they’ve seen how well they can do in recent games.”

Hodgson is not too concerned by Palace’s goalscoring record and hopes to be able to call upon Christian Benteke before too long, while Connor Wickham has returned to training following injury.

“We’ve created more goal chances at home than away,” Hodgson said.

“The facts are there, starkly in front of us, telling me we aren’t scoring enough goals. I believe it’s not because we’re not creating enough goalscoring chances, it’s because we haven’t been as good in front of goal as we would all like.

“For those guys at the front of our attack and the ones who will be getting the goal chances, it’s important they do start to convert those chances into goals.”

Benteke has not played since September 1 and is recovering from knee surgery in October.

Hodgson said “it’s not impossible” that the Belgium striker could feature in the busy festive period.

“It’s more a question of weeks away for Christian,” Hodgson added.

The former England boss also has defender Scott Dann back in training, with Benteke his only injury absentee.

Burnley’s normally resilient defence has been leaking goals this season, with Hodgson surprised by the statistic.

“It’s a surprising fact, because I don’t associate that with Burnley,” Hodgson added.

“They’re conceding a lot of goals. I’d put that down to the haphazard nature of football. I wouldn’t say they’re a vulnerable team in terms of their defending.

“I would put our lack of goals and their conceding too many goals pretty much in the same pot.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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