Mark Ritson - Digital Football Writer for the Croydon Advertiser, gives us an update on Monday evening’s opponents Crystal Palace ahead of the Emirates FA Cup third round tie at the Amex Stadium.
Side’s fortunes have changed since the last time these two teams met? One defeat in 11 now…
They’ve really turned their form around and it’s been remarkable. Palace had several games where they had to turn their season around and they have. The only defeat mentioned was the 3-2 loss at home to Arsenal where they played well too.
Roy Hodgson has got them really organised and they’ve found an attacking prowess on the break as well. It’s been such a good turnaround and I think they’ll go to Brighton this time in much better spirits than when the two sides last met.
What’s Hodgson changed?
It was always going to take some time for a manager to set their stall out with the side. Hodgson is old school and likes his side to be organised, he used to be a PE teacher and that discipline is reflected in his teams.
That’s what the team needed after a terrible start to the season – now they’re playing for one another and there’s a great morale and I think this game against Brighton comes at a really good time.
When they played each other in the league they were finding their feet a little bit that night, but I think they’re in much better shape and they’ll fancy their chances.
The win at Southampton after recoverning from a goal down was a big boost - after Bakary Sako praised Hodgson for ‘how much he’d helped him’ as a player…
It was all about getting the players to believe in their ability and making them confident. On paper they’ve got internationals and in a way some may have thought they were too good to go down.
Sako is an example of someone who’s benefited – Hodgson has completely changed the way he plays because he used to be a wide midfielder and now he’s more of a central striker.
He’s had a new lease of life and that’s a case with a lot of the players and they’re a threat now.
Will Palace make changes given their strong form?
It’s an interesting one because Hodgson had hinted at changes for the game and if you look at it from a fans perspective, they’ll want the strongest eleven out on the field because nobody wants to lose.
But nowadays teams do make changes in these competitions and we’ll have to wait and see.
Will Palace look at this competition as one they can go far in? Reached the final two years ago.
They’ll just want to keep winning matches and maintain their form. A couple of months ago it was all about the league and it still is, but they went on a great run a few years ago and I think they’ll want to do well because winning breeds confidence.