CRYSTAL PALACE are hoping Roy Hodgson pulls off a shock result against Chelsea on Monday — to save them a managerial headache.
Hodgson, 76, has been backed to carry on despite fans turning on him and chairman Steve Parish but that will become a hard task if they lose.
AFPCrystal Palace are swaying towards Steve Cooper as their next boss[/caption]
APThere’s an outside chance the Eagles try and swoop for Gareth Southgate after the Euros[/caption]
Cooper is available after leaving Nottingham Forest but he has been considered before and overlooked.
Palace would rather look at Portuguese coach Paulo Fonseca at Lille, who may move at the end of the season. He was fancied by the Selhurst Park club before.
There is even the long-shot possibility of a move for Gareth Southgate once England complete their 2024 campaign.
Short-term solutions are not ideal for Palace, who have been searching for answers without finding one.
Julen Lopetegui has also been considered but he would demand a big budget in the summer and be allowed to pick the players he signs.
The former Wolves boss is also in the frame for the Bayer Leverkusen job if Xabi Alonso quits at the end of the season.
Ipswich Town’s Kieran McKenna is also fancied but comes with a £4million compensation figure and has not managed in the Premier League.
Even Hodgson admits Palace’s current nightmare run is the toughest of his career — because of the fans’ anger.
Palace have won just two of their last 14 games in all competitions and sit just five points above the bottom three.
AFPPaulo Fonseca is one option for Palace this summer[/caption]
AlamyThe Londoners hope to keep faith with Roy Hodgson for the rest of the season[/caption]
Hodgson said: “It’s the toughest period in my career for one reason and that is that the fans have turned so much against us and they are the people we cannot afford to turn against us.
“If we are to win games, if this team is going to do it, they are not going to be able to do it if the fans are going to be constantly up in arms about everything.
“On the other hand, it joins other periods in my life where I have been happier and more content, of course.
“It’s not been that long, it is really a three-game period that has turned the fans and that has made life very difficult and very uncomfortable.
“But the bright spot for me has been the training sessions because of the way the players have been working to try and get us out of this situation.
CRYSTAL PALACE LAST FIVE RESULTS
Brighton 4 Crystal Palace 1 (Prem)
Crystal Palace 3 Sheffield United 2 (Prem)
Arsenal 5 Crystal Palace 0 (Prem)
Everton 1 Crystal Palace 0 (FA Cup)
Crystal Palace 0 Everton 0 (FA Cup)
“One can only do the things one can do to change things and ask the fans to stay with the team, because we need your assistance as we are in a very weakened situation.
“The players who have not played many games in the Palace first team will need a lot of encouragement.
“They will need a sympathetic eye and not an ultra-critical eye.”
With Michael Olise out for two months and Eberechi Eze sidelined for the next few weeks, Palace’s attacking options are diminished.
Hodgson tried but failed to sign a forward during the January window.
The former England boss said: “We were interested in a forward.
“Had the right person come along and we had a bit of luck it would have been done. But you’ve seen how few clubs were able to get attackers in the window.”