Roy Hodgson is dreaming of taking Crystal Palace into Europe but admits the club will need to invest heavily to achieve that goal. The 72-year-old took charge of the Eagles during the early stages of the 2017-18 campaign and has led them to two mid-table finishes.
Palace have struggled at times under his tenure but the veteran manager always seems to come up with the goods to keep his boyhood club well clear of relegation.
They are seven games into their seventh successive campaign in the top flight and Hodgson feels they should be aiming higher than mid-table.
With the likes of Leicester, West Ham and Everton spending big to try and close the gap on the ‘big six’, Hodgson admits Palace could also have been in the frame if they had invested over the summer.
Despite a lack of movement in the summer window, Palace have started 2019-20 strongly and they begin game-week eight sitting in ninth place.
A victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford is the high point of their campaign so far, having earned a 2-1 triumph, and they could end this weekend in the European places if they beat West Ham at the London Stadium on Sunday and other results go their way.
It’s unlikely Hodgson will be handed major financial backing anytime soon, however, as the board are focused on investing in the academy and redeveloping Selhurst Park.
Hodgson admits a European challenge is unlikely to come to fruition without reinforcing his squad but is hoping to better last season’s 12th-place finish. “I don’t think anybody really starts not seriously hoping and believing that we can climb the table and get closer to European places. It would be a mistake not to have that,” Hodgson said.
“We also have to have a realistic attitude towards that. Probably one of the things that one will have to come to terms with – for teams that aren’t already there – is that it is probably going to involve a certain degree of investment.”
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