Belfast Telegraph

Hodgson says keeping Palace up would better his previous survival successes

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson insists keeping the Eagles in the Premier League would be his greatest ever escape.

Palace are now 18th in the Premier League, three points behind 17th placed West Brom, after claiming a 0-0 draw at The Hawthorns to frustrate former boss Alan Pardew in his first game in charge of Albion.

It extended the Eagles' unbeaten run to four games and pulled Hodgson's side off the bottom of the Premier League on Saturday.

Hodgson previously kept West Brom up in 2011 and engineered a stunning survival with Fulham in 2008 but believes beating the drop with Palace, after they lost their first seven games, would top it all.

"Yes, it probably would be funnily enough," said Hodgson, who replaced Frank de Boer after five matches.

"West Brom were heading for the relegation zone but were just above when I got here. We did well and took 20 points from 12 games to not only stay up but finish 11th.

"At Fulham I think they were doing pretty badly when I came and after the first four games they were doing a damn sight worse as we lost three from four.

"We had a spell where we had to pull ourselves out of a hole. That was a great escape but the seven games, zero points is probably as big a shot in the foot as you are ever going to get in the Premier League."

West Ham's 2-1 defeat at Manchester City on Sunday allowed the Baggies to extend their lead over the bottom three, even though they have now gone 13 league games without a win.

Pardew only had three days of preparation after being appointed last Wednesday but the 56-year-old, facing Palace after they sacked him 12 months ago, believes the Baggies can survive.

He said: "I wouldn't come if I didn't think the team was good enough to stay in the division. Of course we've got to prove it. We showed signs with a lot of big players missing that were really encouraging. It would have been lovely to get the three points.

"We haven't got them. We've got to keep fighting for that first win, because I think it's going to be important to us that it comes sooner rather than later.

"They are an experienced enough group to grasp what I want quickly. They need belief and so you need results."

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