Crystal Palace: Steve Parish talks up Roy Hodgson ahead of contract talks

Sticking around? Roy Hodgson  (Getty Images)
Sticking around? Roy Hodgson (Getty Images)

Steve Parish has hailed the Premier League’s oldest manager Roy Hodgson as his best Crystal Palace coach when it comes to relating to the players.

Hodgson, 75, has come out of retirement to edge Palace away from relegation trouble, replacing Patrick Vieira. He could even be at the helm at Selhurst Park next season, and Eagles chairman Parish has lavished praise on the Premier League’s eldest statesman.

“I needed someone who could bond with the players and create cohesion within the team,” Parish told Sky Sports’ The Overlap. “I knew what the lads all thought about Roy, to have had four years with a manager, to have had that fantastic ending and for the players to revere him.

“I would say that, at 75, Roy is probably the best manager I’ve had when it comes to relating to the players — of every age. He knows exactly the right thing to say to them and when to say it.

“He has an interest in their personal lives and finds out lots about them in the background. He’s just excellent at making sure that everyone understands why he’s making the decisions he’s making, and he keeps everyone onside in that regard.”

Palace travel to Fulham tomorrow with Parish’s endorsement of Hodgson’s second Eagles stint ringing in the players’ ears.

Palace will be without Wilfried Zaha (hamstring) again, but Jeffrey Schlupp could be fit after suffering a knock.

Fulham will most likely be without forward Dan James for the clash at Craven Cottage, with the former Manchester United player also carrying a hamstring concern.