London (AFP) – Roy Hodgson’s reward for saving Crystal Palace’s Premier League status last season is a one-year extension to his contract which he signed on Friday.
The 71-year-old former England national coach was hired by Palace in September last year, replacing Frank de Boer after the club lost their four opening games without scoring a goal, and, despite losing the next three matches, eventually guided them to 11th place.
Palace chairman Steve Parish said the extension, to the end of the season, would boost morale ahead of the their Premier League kick off against one of Hodgson’s former clubs, big-spending newboys and London rivals Fulham.
“I’m thrilled that Roy has agreed to extend his contract and I know the news will be a big lift to everyone connected with the club,” Parish he said in a club statement.
“We are looking to build on the hard work and results achieved last season and I believe this is the most important part of making that happen.
“It’s of course fantastic that Roy has a long connection with the club and I think that understanding the South London mentality is a benefit but make no mistake he’s here because he’s the very best man for the job as we look to take this club forward on and off the pitch.”
Hodgson said it was special to be trusted to take forward a club he watched as a youngster.
“It is a club that has been close to my heart since I was a youngster growing up in the borough of Croydon, and having stood on the terraces in the 1950s, it is a wonderful thing to be managing my boyhood club all these years later,” he said.
“We can be proud of our achievements last season in turning things around despite a poor start, but this year we want to ensure we don’t endure the same struggles.
Palace spent just under £10million on new players during the close season but perhaps most importantly did not lose the prized asset Ivory Coast wing Wilfried Zaha.
“I am thrilled that I have the support of the owners, who believe that I am the right man to help this club move forward,” Hodgson said