Roy Hodgson rules out complacency from Crystal Palace
Roy Hodgson is confident his Crystal Palace players will not underestimate Burnley or any of their upcoming opponents.
The Eagles have just completed a run of fixtures described by Luka Milivojevic as a “mini-Champions League” which saw them face four of the traditional Premier League top six as well as Leicester in consecutive matches.
Coming up – starting with Saturday’s encounter at Turf Moor – is a string of games against the so-called weaker teams in the division, but Hodgson will not let his squad take anything for granted.
He said: “I thought our previous five were winnable. It is just unfortunately the opponents turned out to be just about good enough to prevent us from winning.
“I know the games coming up are winnable too, but only if we produce the best of our performances and we will not be underestimating any of our opponents.”
A common trait in the Premier League and most divisions is clubs raising their game against the teams in the upper echelons before coming back down to earth the following weekend.
Bournemouth were a prime example of this at the beginning of November when they beat Manchester United 1-0 before losing at Newcastle seven days later.
Hodgson added: “There is the phenomenon that teams can raise their game against the top teams to get results that nobody really expected and then let themselves down in the next game against teams really which haven’t posed the same degree of threat or put them under the same degree of pressure.
“We as coaches work very hard to prevent that from happening but of course football players are athletes and they have a mind and a mentality.
“You try very hard to work on that mentality, work very hard to prevent that (drop off) happening but unfortunately you can’t always succeed in doing that.
“It is much easier to deal with people’s physical attributes and ensure that people are physically ready than mentally ready, but I can ensure everybody that’s what we try to do.”
The former Liverpool boss also cooled talk that he may raid his old club in January to sign forward Rhian Brewster on loan.
A move for the 19-year-old has been mooted in recent weeks, although Hodgson raised the question over whether the England youth international would be a starter at Palace.
“He is a good player, but the only thing that would concern me there is if I was going to speak to Jurgen Klopp and he was going to talk about how he wants Rhian to go out on loan and play some matches,” Hodgson said.
“I am not 100 per cent certain I could guarantee he would be the first name on the team sheet. He would be in competition with the three players we already have, who are experienced players and quality players.
“If I was Jurgen and Rhian I would want to go somewhere where I am the first name on the team sheet and I can guarantee between January and the end of the season I’d play 20 matches.”