Roy Hodgson has asked his Crystal Palace players to ensure he goes out on a high if Sunday’s Premier League finale against Nottingham Forest proves to be his last game in charge.
The 75-year-old has said he is assuming Sunday’s match will be his last, having signed a contract to the end of the season when he returned to his boyhood club following the sacking of Patrick Vieira in March.
His impressive record – 17 points from nine games – has led to speculation that Steve Parish may ask Hodgson to stay on and the former England boss said he would keep his options open – but for now he is treating this weekend as his last in charge.
“We have got satisfaction as a coaching staff from the way the team has played,” Hodgson said.
“We have got satisfaction from the way the team has worked both on and off the training field and in matches, and as a result it leaves a very warm glow going into the last game.
“When I think back to the time we had, it also makes me a little bit nervous. It is the final game of the season in front of the home crowd, playing against a team below us in the table.
“I would like the boys to do well on Sunday and finish off in the best way possible and not finish on a bit of a damp squib.”
Hodgson has steered Palace comfortably clear of the relegation battle as they go into the final round of fixtures in 11th place.
And Hodgson said that was down to the commitment of the players and his backroom staff during the last two months.
“I will look back on this time working here with this group of players with a lot of satisfaction in the end, and what it has done is it has given us a lot of good moments in games when we have played well and got reward for playing well,” he said.
“That’s the thing you are always concerned about as a coach. Can you get the team playing well and doing the right things, defending as you want to defend and attacking as you want the team to attack, but then to get any rewards from it you have to win?
“The good attacking movement has to finish with a goal, not a shot which hits the crossbar or is saved by the goalkeeper or goes behind, because they get forgotten.
“The move will only be discussed or analysed or dissected by the pundits at the end of the game if the ball has gone in the back of the net.”