Wednesday 20 March 2019

Roy Hodgson keen to see more of Crystal Palace's squad against Huddersfield

Roy Hodgson is likely to rotate his Crystal Palace squad in the Carabao Cup
Roy Hodgson is likely to rotate his Crystal Palace squad in the Carabao Cup

Roy Hodgson intends to use Tuesday's Carabao Cup third-round fixture with Huddersfield to continue assessing his new squad at Crystal Palace.

The manager, 70, oversaw a 1-0 home defeat by Southampton on Saturday in his first match in charge, and after Huddersfield his team face Premier League fixtures with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea in the coming weeks.

He has already spoken of his belief it could be some time before 20th-placed Palace significantly improve, despite his confidence he will inspire them to safety.

Having similarly succeeded with Fulham and West Brom, he revealed one of the first stages of that process.

"I'll have a chance on Tuesday to see a few more (players)," said Hodgson, who last week signed a two-year contract at Palace, 14 months after resigning from his post with England.

"Going forward, I'll have a much better idea of the playing personnel, and that's a very important factor.

"That was an important part at Fulham: looking at the playing personnel, working out who's going to be good enough on the field and who's going to be really ready to roll their sleeves up and die for us in this cause because we're not doing too well. That'll be the main thing.

"In terms of confidence you've got to be careful. You can't just go round to people all the time saying: 'You'll be okay, you'll be fine, that was all right, bad luck', because they need more than that.

"What you have to have is: 'Look, what we're doing here, or what you're doing there, that's not what we want, that's not good enough, you've got to do this, that and the other'. And we've got to show them that in training, that's what I mean by working in training."

Hodgson's predecessor Frank de Boer oversaw the only victory of his five matches in charge via a 2-1 scoreline against Ipswich in the competition's previous round.

His first defeat of the four that came in the Premier League was against Huddersfield, when they lost 3-0 at Selhurst Park, but Hodgson's options have been strengthened by the availability of Mamadou Sakho and Pape Souare.

The latter's return after a year out is particularly significant, given he feared he may have to retire after suffering a broken jaw and thigh in a car crash that also left him needing to be cut from his vehicle.

Sakho returned to the club on a permanent basis on transfer deadline day but has not played since straining ankle ligaments in April while on loan from Liverpool.

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