talkSPORT EXCLUSIVE – Roy Hodgson has ‘empathy and sympathy’ for Frank de Boer after replacing him as Crystal Palace manager

Roy Hodgson has told talkSPORT he has ‘empathy and sympathy’ for Frank de Boer after replacing the axed Dutchman as Crystal Palace manager.



Hodgson’s new position as Eagles head coach was confirmed on Tuesday, following De Boer’s departure from Selhurst Park after only four games in charge.

The former Ajax boss was sacked just 77 days into a three-year contract on Monday, after Palace became the first team in Premier League history to lose all of their opening four games of the season without scoring.

And, in an exclusive chat with talkSPORT host Jim White, new Eagles chief Hodgson said: “As a football manager and coach, you always have sympathy for people who have lost their jobs.

“It’s always ‘there but for the grace go I’. Unfortunately it’s fact of life and if a person loses their job and the club turns to you, you accept it of course but you don’t accept it without feeling some sort of empathy and sympathy for the person who has gone before you.”

Hodgson will take charge of his new team for the first time on Saturday, with the Eagles hoping to secure their first league win of the season when Southampton visit Selhurst Park.

And, despite taking over from a man who was sacked after such a short time, the former England boss is not fazed by the pressure as he looks to lift the gloom at the club.

When asked about the growing pressure on Premier League bosses, Hodgson added: “It’s always been there and it’ll only get stronger as the mass media interest gets greater and the coverage of games gets greater too.

“The money improves every year and the thought of relegation gets more and more frightening for the teams that are going to be threatened by it, so there’s no doubt the pressure has increased.

“But you take on every job knowing what the benefits and the shortfalls and problems are likely to be and I go into this job with open eyes, with great enthusiasm and a great energy which has certainly been boosted by the fact I’ve had a bit of time away from the game.”

Hodgson has been tasked by many with saving Palace from a relegation battle after their horror start to the season.

The new manager admits the team are in for a fight after four straight defeats, but insists it’s far too early to be deciding their fate just yet.

“It will be tough, of course, but it won’t just be tough for us, it’ll be tough for a few teams,” he added.

“We’re four games in and the start has been a poor one, we can’t deny that, but there’s 38 games in the league season and there’s 34 more to play and quite frankly the relegation issues are not going to be decided this side of Christmas, they’re probably not going to be decided this side of Easter.

“The important thing now is to get down to work and make certain we become a really highly competitive team which is hard to beat and is capable of picking up points, and then around Easter we’ll see where we are.

“I’m certain we will pull away from the mire and I’m very confident the players we have here will help us achieve our goal, which is to make certain we don’t get relegated.”

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