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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."

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Hodgson challenges Palace to find the right balance

Hodgson compared football to a succession of 'parties and funerals.' Credit: PA

Roy Hodgson says it is crucial his Crystal Palace players find the right balance after comparing the weekly ups and downs of life in the Premier League to "a succession of parties and funerals".

The Eagles visit Newcastle on Saturday hoping to build on last weekend's 2-1 win over champions Chelsea, where they put their first points and first goals on the board at the eighth attempt.

The result has changed perceptions about Palace's season, from a side certain to be relegated to one expecting to survive.

Wilfried Zaha's return, combined with strong performances from Andros Townsend and Mamadou Sakho, lifted Palace and they will be further strengthened at St James' Park by the expected comebacks of goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and on-loan midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Hodgson has experienced plenty of highs and lows in his long coaching career and said: "Football's a constant succession of parties and funerals.

"It's about victories and defeats. That's never going to change. You have to be careful as a coach or manager to even those things out a little bit and not allow people to think every defeat is some sort of funeral atmosphere or every win is euphoria.

"We've got to get somewhere in between those two things.

"Newcastle are a good footballing team. I watched them at Southampton (where they drew last weekend) and they were every bit as good as I expected. They are a well-organised team with a clear idea of what they want to do with and without the ball. We have to give exactly the same performance that we did against Chelsea."

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Brooking backs Allardyce for England

Allardyce celebrates Credit: PA

Sir Trevor Brooking has backed Sam Allardyce to get the best out of England's players if he is appointed as Roy Hodgson's successor.

The Football Association are searching for a new manager after Hodgson resigned in the aftermath of England's dismal Euro 2016 campaign which ended in defeat to minnows Iceland.

Sunderland boss Allardyce has become the frontrunner for the role, holding talks with the FA earlier this week, and Brooking believes he would be a good choice.

"These players are very talented technically - we even saw that in France," the former FA director of football development told The Sun. "But they were found wanting in terms of mental toughness.

"In the Iceland game, I saw players moving into positions where they could hide. It's easy to blame the man in possession - often Wayne Rooney - but there weren't passing options for him to knock the ball into.

"There's an overhead camera and I think it would be pretty damning for that game. That was the most disappointing thing for me to see.

"That's the thing about Sam - he's always made the best use of the players available.

"He got West Ham back into the top flight and made Sunderland stronger mentally and defensively.

"Combine that with the technical ability of these England players and I think you have a decent mix. The next manager has to be English and Sam is very experienced and organised."

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