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Roy Hodgson talks about the challenge Newcastle United will present on Saturday

2 years ago
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Roy Hodgson has met the media on Friday afternoon.

The Palace boss speaking to reporters ahead of the visit to St James Park.

The clubs only separated by one point and Newcastle potentially going to 12th if they win, ahead of Palace and Bournemouth.

When it comes to Newcastle United, Roy Hodgson is confident: ‘I have no doubt they’ll be safe at the end of the season.’

He respects the Newcastle supporters as well as the team, declaring: ‘When you go to places like Newcastle where the fans are as football focussed as they are, there’s no doubt that the people who go to that game have one thought in their mind: to see their team beat you. It’s a big ask to go there and win games.’

Palace have had impressive victories away from home, including at Manchester City, picking up 20 points on their travels, four more than at Selhurst Park.

There have also been a massive 49 goals (25 for Palace 24 against) in Palace away games, compared to only 30 (13 for and 17 against) at home, so no reason to think this will be goalless.

Interesting to see how Rafa Benitez sets his team up, especially with all but Sean Longstaff reported to be fit and available.

Roy Hodgson speaking at his pre-Newcastle press conference:

“We haven’t actually gone out saying we’re safe.

“We can’t stop the general opinion that’s out there – we realise we need more points and we also realise we’ll be coming across some very good teams that’ll make it hard for us to get those points.

“It’s important for us to be in a position that we’re our best when we go on the field.

“Hopefully, we can start producing our best football because we know on our day – when we produce our best football – we can provide a match for any team.

“We don’t take anything lightly going into these last six games, we realise we’ve got to be fighting and battling and doing all the things we need to do to get points on the board.

“They (Newcastle United) have an incredible support up there, a good team and are very strong at home which we’re aware of.

“I have no doubt they’ll be safe at the end of the season.

“When you go to places like Newcastle where the fans are as football focussed as they are, there’s no doubt that the people who go to that game have one thought in their mind: to see their team beat you.

“It’s a big ask to go there and win games.

“It’s a short turnaround for us this week which is never easy but I’m hoping I’ll see a good reaction and we’ll go up and give them the type of game which will enable us to pick up points.

“We realise we need more points and we also realise we are going to be coming up against strong teams. We know on the days when we produce our best football we are a match for any team.

It is a fact of life that staying in the Premier League is the goal. We know it will be a fight to achieve it. We aren’t taking anything for granted. We are fighting for every point.

“It’s a tough game on Saturday. We take each game as it comes. We will be entering our seventh successive season in the Premier League if we achieve our goal, it’s an impressive achievement.

(On James Tomkins): He’s been excellent. He was fantastic the other night in a tough game for us. He handled it brilliantly. We have been lucky to have Tomkins and Sakho as our centre backs . He is taking on the role as the senior figure.”

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