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Tuesday 19 June 2018

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Roy Hodgson has no plans to use psychologist at Crystal Palace

Roy Hodgson has yet to claim a point as Palace boss
Roy Hodgson has yet to claim a point as Palace boss

Roy Hodgson will resist the urge to recruit a psychologist to help Crystal Palace's battle against relegation.

His team have lost all seven Premier League fixtures without scoring a goal, and while the first four of those came under his predecessor Frank de Boer, that losing run is not expected to end when they host Chelsea on Saturday.

Their decline has been gradual over the course of almost two years in which a lack of confidence has been particularly damaging, with heads dropping if Palace concede the first goal.

Hodgson used the reputable Steve Peters with the England squad while the national team's manager, but despite the extent of Palace's plight, he has no plans for a repeat at Selhurst Park.

"The best people to (lift confidence) is the coaching staff," he said. "The people around the club, close to the football, who work with them every day.

"Psychologists can also play a part but first you need to have made certain that people are singing off the same hymn sheet and there is some sort of unity of ideas.

"Having someone just pop in and out, I'm not 100 per cent certain that works. It might for an individual but as a team you have to be very careful you have got the right format for a psychologist.

"All my thoughts and work is in the tactical, technical side on the training field. That would have to be for going forward when we've established some sort of base, which we're in the throes of.

"I'm not anti-it, by any stretch of the imagination. Steve Peters was very good and played a useful role, not least of all with the coaching staff and how we addressed the players.

"They do have their advantages but it could muddy the waters even further when we're trying to make it 100 per cent clear: 'To survive we have got to do these things'. To do those things we need the training field, the day-to-day contact between manager, coach and player."

Regardless of Palace's struggles, the 70-year-old insists he "loves" being back in management.

For the first time since his appointment Wilfried Zaha is fit for selection, though Christian Benteke is still out with a knee injury and Ruben Loftus-Cheek is ineligible against his parent club. Wayne Hennessey faces a late fitness test.

Zaha's frustration at not being selected regularly by Hodgson for England led to him committing to Ivory Coast, but the manager said: "He has definitely got the 'x-factor'.

"He has a special place in the hearts and minds of Palace fans, and they will feel more comfortable now that he is back and will believe with his ability.

"I never had the chance to pick him when he was in his heyday here. He'd already decided then he was going to play for the Ivory Coast.

"Am I sad as an England fan? Yes. He's happy to be playing international football. Ivory Coast have got a very good team but these things are unfortunately always going to happen."

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