Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has insisted that he is fitter than ever and looking forward to returning to training in the next few weeks in an exclusive interview on the Keys & Gray show.
Despite being the oldest manager in the Premier Leauge at 72, Hodgson stressed he is in better shape following the COVID-19 pandemic halted the progress of the Premier League season, adding he feels that his senior years won’t prohibit him from managing his team.
“No, I think age is age isn’t it. Its how you feel. Your age doesn’t relate to your fitness or how your feeling, or your capacity to do your job.”
“So as far as I’m concerned I feel every bit just as good as March the 10th, perhaps even better because this time has given me more chance to work on my fitness than I had to when I was working on a daily basis” added Hodgson.
Palace currently sits in eleventh place in the Premier League standings, and the former Three Lions coach has no concerns about getting back to training.
“I have no qualms about it, and when I get called back to work, I shall be very happy to go to go back to work.”
When asked about player’s reluctance to returning to training, and eventual Premier League action due to safety concerns, Hodgson believes his club would respect the wishes of worried players.
“Well, it’s going to be a matter of course for the individual, and a matter for the club. I shall abide with whatever the club rules of the club in that respect.”
“I would be very surprised, knowing my club as I do and knowing the chairman Steve Parish as I do, that he would not be sympathetic to come to a player who had serious reservations about playing. I’m certain he would solve that situation.”
With the UK government confirming that professional sport will not start until June 1st at the very earliest. Pressure is mounting on the Premier League to get the league back up and running under project restart.
Whatever the outcome, for Hodgson football will be changed significantly for the foreseeable future.
“We are trying to some extent to get some football back on the table again really, we’ve got the green light by the government to get back to work as a population.”
“The Premier League is doing it’s level best with it’s stakeholders and shareholders along with the teams and broadcast partners to try and reach a solution to enable for it to be played again” added the veteran coach.
“The reality is that it’s never going to be an ideal situation. We are never going to go back to March the 10th. Whatever happens and however football is able to reappear it will be in a lot of different ways, and there will be compromises to deal with I suppose.”
You can hear more from Roy Hodgson on the Keys & Gray show, which is available on Youtube.