• By Yann Tear

Hodgson happy to bide his time over future, as Man United draw takes Eagles closer to safety


Roy Hodgson insists he is in no rush to decide whether he stays on as boss - even though he is on the cusp of ensuring the Eagles have an eighth straight season in the Premier League next term.

Wednesday night's 0-0 draw with Manchester United takes Palace to 34 points with 11 to play and their mini run of a win at Brighton and draws with Fulham and United have steered them 11 points clear of the drop zone.

They are almost there.

Yet there are no guarantees that Hodgson - who turns 74 in August - will be retained next season despite wringing out so much from a squad assembled on the cheap which continues to punch above its weight.

In spite of that, the Palace boss is as sanguine as ever.

"There's no interest in my part to start considering those things," said the Croydon-born boss who took over his 'local' club in 2017.

"I suppose it will have to be considered at some stage before the end of the season but as long as I can kick the can down the road and keep enjoying the games and keep trying to get performances out of the players, and get them enjoying their performances, that's good enough for me.

"The future will take care of itself. We'll see what transpires."

Hodgson had good reason to feel contented with the draw with United, who Palace also beat 3-1 at Old Trafford earlier in the season.

The Red Devils have been unbeaten away all season and are supposed title contenders, but the Eagles were typically obstinate, resilient and determined to get something from the match.

It drew so much praise from Hodgson.

"These guys have spent four years together doing their best to keep the team in the league," he said. "I'm so proud of them and so grateful to them for what they've done for the club.

"They've never ever let me down, even on the occasions where we haven't played as well as we'd have liked. It's never been because they weren't trying to do the right things.

"We haven't dominated any of the last three games. We've had to work very, very hard against teams that are good at keeping the ball and teams with good individual players, but we've accepted that and dealt with it.

"It's only a point but one that takes us closer to that magical 40 mark and it's a point that also gives me great encouragement to believe we're going to get to that 40 points, because if we can do that against Man United, we should be able to do it against other teams in the league as well."

Hodgson added: "We had two very tough games which were pretty much if not 'must win' they were definitely 'must not lose' games because we didn't want to get dragged down into a relegation battle.

"Brighton was a big, big game for us and to follow it up in midweek against Man United is not something I'd have chosen, I must say because we all know the qualities they have got, but I've got to say the way we went about our job tonight, I really can't fault it in any way.

"We didn't concede a lot of chances and there were moments when we looked like we might score a goal ourselves."