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Palace boss Hodgson to be awarded freedom of the Borough of Croydon

Hodgson took Palace from bottom of the league to 11th. Credit: PA

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is to be awarded the Freedom of the Borough of Croydon, council leader Tony Newman has announced.

Croydon-born Hodgson took over from Frank De Boer in September following the Dutchman's dismissal just four matches into the Premier League campaign, with the club at the foot of the table.

The Eagles failed to pick up a point until the eighth game of the campaign, but the former England boss led a remarkable comeback to help guide the team to an 11th-placed finish on 44 points.

Boyhood Palace fan Hodgson, who was a youth player at Selhurst Park, will receive the honour 'in recognition of his contribution to Croydon and to football'.

"It is a great honour to be awarded the Freedom of the Borough and I would like to thank Cllr Newman and his colleagues for awarding it to me," he said, quoted on Palace's website.

"I could never have dreamt that my journey in life would take me from walking to Selhurst Park with my father and sitting on the crossbar at the Holmesdale Road End, to managing the club I have always supported and to being recognised by Croydon Council for my career in football."

Cllr Newman said: "I'm delighted to be recommending Roy for Freedom of the Borough as he represents all that is great about Croydon.

"Born and raised here, he's had a remarkable international career in football, and to cap it all he's now the manager and saviour of Crystal Palace."



Benteke an injury doubt for Palace's Bournemouth clash

Christian Benteke is a doubt for Crystal Palace's Premier League trip to Bournemouth. Credit: PA

Christian Benteke is a doubt for Crystal Palace's Premier League trip to Bournemouth after suffering a groin injury in training on Thursday.

The Belgium striker had retained his place in the side despite a significant lack of goals this season, with manager Roy Hodgson's attacking options severely limited due to injuries.

In last week's 2-1 defeat by Liverpool Benteke wasted two fine chances while the score remained 1-1, but when Alexander Sorloth and Connor Wickham have already been ruled out, Palace could struggle without him and are relying on a positive outcome to a late fitness test.

Hodgson was without 12 senior injured players earlier this season but the recent returns of Wilfried Zaha, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Yohan Cabaye and Mamadou Sakho had significantly strengthened his hand.

Hodgson, who was forced to select Zaha and Andros Townsend as an unorthodox front two when Benteke was injured in September, said on Thursday: "Benteke limped off the training field feeling his groin. We won't know how well he is until the night passes and he comes in and is assessed again (on Friday).

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