Crystal Palace make the short trip to Watford this weekend for their FA Cup quarter-final clash. Many Eagles fans surely thought, prior to the former England boss’ Thursday press conference, that Roy Hodgson would continue to prioritise the league instead and thus rest some of his big hitters on Saturday.
“I see no reason why we can’t do both [play at full capacity in the league and cup].
“Luckily our position in the league – it’s not as good as we’d like – but it’s not precarious at this point in time. There’s no reason why we can’t play on both fronts.
“Even though it’s ridiculously hypothetical, it’s like saying, ‘someone has decided you can have one of these two things: walk away with the trophy and play in the Championship next year or you can miss out on the trophy and still be in the league, what do you want?’
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“In that, I say I want the latter, to be in the league. What I really want is to be in the [Premier] League holding the trophy next year.”
Some may believe Hodgson lacks ambition in his team selection most weeks, with the midfield choices particularly uninspiring on occasion, although you can feel reading his comments above that the Premier League’s oldest manager would love to take Palace all the way in the cup if he can.
Not, though, if it means sacrificing top flight status. Luckily for the former Liverpool manager, the two-week break thereafter represents the perfect opportunity to give the cup clash absolutely everything and Palace fans will surely expect nothing less after the abysmal performance at home to Brighton last week.
The Eagles faithful will love Hodgson’s answer and, considering the quality at his disposal, there is no reason why he cannot take his side to Wembley and steer them clear of the drop zone.