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Roy Hodgson not using Crystal Palace successes at Man City to inspire Watford

Manchester City v Crystal Palace – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
(Image credit: Martin Rickett)

Roy Hodgson has not used his recent success at the Etihad with Crystal Palace to inspire his struggling Watford side but instead focused on another positive memory away to Manchester City.

The 74-year-old secured a memorable 3-2 win over Pep Guardiola’s men during the 2018-19 season and in the following campaign walked away with a point following a 2-2 draw.

Hodgson has not highlighted those results to his 19th-placed Hornets, who are seven points from safety with only six games to go after last weekend’s late loss to Brentford, but has made them aware of Fulham’s plight in 2008.

A 3-2 win at Man City, prior to the Abu Dhabi Group pumping millions into the club, proved the catalyst for the Cottagers to win their final three fixtures and survive against the odds 14 years ago.

“It is a human failing to want to hark back to things you have done, things that have happened but no we have not talked about Crystal Palace,” Hodgson said.

“We have drip-fed into them that Fulham at half-time (against Man City) were relegated. We have drip-fed into them that at Fulham we won four of our last five matches, so 12 points out of 15, because I think that is relevant and because I am still trying to – like everyone else – keep that hope and dream.

“I read in a podcast thing where there are a lot of journalists that every one of them said we are relegated as well but I have learned to live with these things because our form and our position in the table is as such.

“But we don’t have to accept there is no hope, there is no chance and that we are doomed until such time as we are doomed. At the moment with 18 points to play for, we are not doomed but we will need, I will not say that type of Fulham performance but you might call it Fulham luck.”

Watford head to Manchester in need of points to boost their faint survival hopes but take on a home side, who are neck-and-neck with Liverpool in the title race.

Given the Hornets have lost 14 times in a row to Man City, which includes an 8-0 drubbing, two 6-0s and a single 5-0 thrashing, you could be forgiven for expecting more goals for Guardiola’s side but Hodgson is adamant at no stage will his team throw in the towel this weekend.

“The title race is of no interest to me whatsoever, may the best team win, but I am very concerned about the integrity of the team and the way they approach their job,” the 74-year-old added.

“I have seen nothing, in the 11 weeks I’ve been here, from this group of players to suggest they throw in the towel when things go against them.

“So, I am not worried that we will give up, but I am concerned that City could over-run us and move the ball in a manner our players will find very difficult to answer.

“If they get a couple of early goals, they could run rampant and get a lot of goals in their sights, but I would be bitterly disappointed if someone came up to me and said ‘You lost heavily because your players threw the towel in’ and I don’t expect that to happen.”

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