Hodgson hails Palace survival mission

Roy Hodgson admits the relief at securing Premier League survival was tainted by empathy at Stoke City’s relegation.

Crystal Palace looked certainties for the drop last October after losing their first seven Premier League games of the season.

But Saturday’s 2-1 win at Stoke capped a stunning transformation under Hodgson, with the Eagles now certain of playing in the top flight next season.

Boss Hodgson was full of praise for his players, but expressed his sympathy for opponents Stoke, who were confined to the Championship by the defeat.

“My players deserve all of the credit, particularly after Stoke’s strong first half,” Hodgson told Sky Sports.

“I’m really proud of my team’s performance, not just today but over the season.”

“I empathise with Stoke today, it’s a very tough day.

“Any joy I feel is measured by the faces of the Stoke players, who really gave everything they could possibly give.

“Unfortunately they came across a team that wasn’t prepared to lie down and we profited from the fact they had to win the game and take chances.”