SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 19, 2019: Crystal Palace's manager Roy Hodgson during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Roy Hodgson apologises for criticising Crystal Palace fans – “We are fragile”

Roy Hodgson says he “bitterly regrets” claiming furious Crystal Palace fans had been “spoiled” in previous years, calling for their support vs. Liverpool.

Liverpool arrive at Selhurst Park for a 12.30pm kickoff on Saturday, taking on a Palace side who have won just once in their last eight games.

Their most recent outing ended in a 2-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth, with Hodgson and his players booed at half-time and full-time, and the manager targeted by a projectile.

Speaking to Amazon Prime after the game, the Palace manager suggested the club’s supporters had been “spoiled” by performances at home in years gone by.

Unsurprisingly, that made headlines and only made the situation worse, with Hodgson then using his pre-Liverpool press conference to apologise.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Monday, August 20, 2018: Crystal Palace's manager Roy Hodgson during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I’m a bit distressed by it really. I’m distressed by my comments and the choice of words which I bitterly regret,” he told reporters.

“I mean, we’ve spoiled the fans in recent years? I don’t think we have.

“I mean, I’ve seen the fans have been very patient. They’ve been fantastic behind us even during this bad spell.

“I can quite understand their frustration and their disappointment on Wednesday night because we all felt pretty bad about it.

“So I owe them an apology, that’s for sure.”

Hodgson has clearly understood the severity of the situation and the potential knock-on effect his comments could have on supporters attending Saturday’s game.

Palace are already up against it given they have five key players out in Dean Henderson, Rob Holding, Tyrick Mitchell, Cheick Doucoure and Eberechi Eze, while the 76-year-old admitted he had to be “very careful” with Michael Olise.

“We are certainly going to need the fans tomorrow playing Liverpool because it’s always a very tough game when you play Liverpool, either home or away,” Hodgson continued.

“Certainly the fact that we are at home is one of our hopes that we’ll be able to give Liverpool a very good game because the fans will get behind the team.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 19, 2020: Crystal Palace's manager Roy Hodgson during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I think at times like this when things aren’t going well for a team, that’s when you really do appreciate that if you’ve got a fan base like we have that do get behind the team, that do care, that do keep singing and chanting.

“Sometimes away from home, it’s quite incredible. We hear our fans away from home, we’re losing games and we hear them all the time.

“If you’ve got that going into a game like this one tomorrow, it’s that bonus we need at the moment because we are fragile, because we are on a bad run of results.”