Roy Hodgson: For Crystal Palace to finish much higher would be hell of an ask
Roy Hodgson believes an 11th-placed finish for Crystal Palace is an excellent achievement.
A 1-1 draw at home to Nottingham Forest saw the south London outfit finish in their highest position since 2017-18, in a campaign that saw the 75-year old replace Patrick Vieira in March.
A Will Hughes effort cancelled out an opener for Taiwo Awoniyi, but Hodgson – who refused to be drawn on his future – was proud of the club’s accomplishment.
“An 11th place for Palace, in any season, is always acceptable. At the moment that is definitely where we want to be at least,” Hodgson said.
“We can always hope we have a better season and some of the seasons beyond that, and hope we get into the top half.
“But I think there’s always going to be a gap to teams which spend £200million or more on putting their playing staff together, whose only interest is getting into the Champions League.
“I hope our fans and the club realise that’s a hell of an ask where you can finish higher than 11th or 12th.”
Nottingham Forest took the lead in a 60-second spell that could have seen them fall behind.
A shot by Eberechi Eze on the hour was blocked by Jordan Ayew, with goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey turning away a Hughes shot on the rebound.
A long ball out of the Forest half almost immediately by Morgan Gibbs-White found Awoniyi, who got the better of Joachim Anderson in the box and slotted home.
Palace equalised in the 65th minute, albeit with some good fortune. A cross by Michael Olise into the box was flicked on by Hughes past Hennessey – although the ball deflected off the challenging Willy Boly.
While both sides were looking for a winning effort to round off the season, it proved to be a satisfactory – if winless – ending for both sides.
Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper revealed his appreciation for Hodgson, and also believed the travelling support got a deserved reward.
“I said to Roy at the end it was an honour to come up against him. I’ve only done four years of this first-team lark,” Cooper said.
“For him to do as much as he’s done and to have the career he’s done, I’m full of admiration. He doesn’t need any kind words from me, but at the same time it’s a privilege to come up against him.
“We wanted to win and I think it was important to give the supporters a result.
“Our away support has been incredible and we haven’t given them enough in terms of results and sometimes performances.
“It could have been any result today and it would have been the same atmosphere, they’ve given us that.”