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Roy Hodgson hoping Crystal Palace can maintain fine start against Spurs

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson is approaching the Premier League match against Tottenham with confidence after a strong start to the campaign.

The Eagles resume after the international break in a lofty fourth spot in the standings after wins over Manchester United and Aston Villa followed an opening-day stalemate at Everton and a loss at Sheffield United.

Palace have only conceded two goals in league action to date this season – and only scored three – and Hodgson hopes to build on both of those areas.

“The defensive record has been pretty good, the problem is at the other end and scoring goals,” Hodgson said in his pre-match press conference.

“We haven’t scored as many as we would have liked. But keeping clean sheets is important and we must work hard to get in shape and keep our shape.

“If a game becomes open and (it is) who will score the most goals, we might not always come out on top.”

Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham have not won since the 3-1 victory against Villa on the opening day of the season.

Spurs are ninth in the early league standings, but Hodgson has dismissed it will work to Palace’s advantage.

“It is never a good time (to play them) – they are one of the best teams in the country,” the 72-year-old said.

“They will have a strong team, we are confident with the start we have had, and it is a question of what happens on the day. I am not sure it is ever a good time to play anyone.”

Centre-forward Jordan Ayew scored in Palace’s win over Villa at the end of last month and was also on the scoresheet at Old Trafford, and Hodgson thinks this will stand him in good stead for the rest of the campaign.

“Jordan has done well all the time he has been here. His contribution last season was an important one, he has continued that and added two very important goals,” Hodgson added.

“Like all centre forwards, they need to point to a few goals. However good a job you do for the team, centre forwards are judged on their goal record.”