Hodgson sets survival standard

Roy Hodgson knows Crystal Palace will have to scrap for every point as he prepares his side to face Newcastle at St. James’ Park.

A Cesar Azpilicueta own-goal broke Palace’s season-long scoring drought as they overcame Chelsea 2-1 last time out, where Wilfried Zaha netted the winner after Tiemoue Bakayoko had equalised.

The result still left Hodgson’s side bottom of the standings with three points – but one points behind Bournemouth and two adrift of Leicester.

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Ahead of this Saturday’s fixture, Hodgson said: “There’s 30 games left. We’ve handicapped ourselves by taking so few points – or no points – in the first seven games. We now have three from eight which is a very low return.

“Somehow or another, we have to get ourselves to a place where we’re on a point per game to get ourselves within touching distances of the other teams around us. 

“We’re still the ones that are in the deepest trouble and we’ve got to realise that every game is a points opportunity to lift ourselves up the table.”

On finally getting off the mark for the season, the manager added, on Soccer Saturday: “We hadn’t scored in seven games, there’s been all the furore that surrounds it and that you’ve lost all seven, so any goal would have been a good one really.

“I think it’s a shame to put it down as an own goal because it was a provoked own goal which, had Azpilicueta not got the touch, I think it would have gone in anyway.”

He added: “We really thought we deserved something out of the game but we knew to do that, we had to score goals so when they came, it was hard to just sit there and nod your head wisely.”

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