Roy Hodgson believes Sir Alex Ferguson would brand him a “fool” for opting to return to the stress of Premier League management.
The former England boss last week agreed to come out of retirement for a second stint with relegation-threatened Crystal Palace following the sacking of Patrick Vieira.
Hodgson was in a relaxed, jovial mood during his first press conference back at his boyhood club and acknowledges he is enjoying the honeymoon period before the serious business begins with Saturday’s clash with fellow strugglers Leicester.
While he has received encouraging messages from across the world since his reappointment, the 75-year-old feels ex-Manchester United boss Ferguson may have offered a different sentiment had he been in contact.
“I would think if Alex was to text me he would be saying ‘what are you doing, you fool?’,” Hodgson replied with a smile when asked if any old acquaintances had been in touch.
“I’ve had lots of nice messages. I’m fortunate as well that I get messages from abroad, so that’s always a nice thing. But this is that nice period.
“Training has been very enjoyable. I have really enjoyed being with the players out there. It has been a pleasant time.
“It has not been enormously stressful because we haven’t lost a game yet.
“But the stress, I’m afraid, starts on Saturday. The next time you see me here you might see someone a lot less relaxed than I seem to be at this moment in time. Experience, or no experience.”
Hodgson previously managed the Eagles between 2017 and 2021.
His long, distinguished career looked set to end on the major low of suffering top-flight relegation with Watford last term, before his surprise return to Selhurst Park.
Palace sit only three points above the bottom three following a 12-match winless run and, with 10 games to go, Hodgson is determined to avoid dropping out of the division for a second time.
“When you take on a job you take it on with all the jeopardies that are there in front of you,” he said.
“I knew that taking on the job at Watford was by no means a give-me when it came to keeping the club in the league.
“It turned out to be a job that Ray (Lewington, assistant manager) and I weren’t capable of doing for them and we were both very upset and disappointed about it.
“But I don’t know that I should allow that to make me fearful of taking on this challenge because it is with a very different group of players, a very different club, and I still back us in a way to do the type of work which would give the players and the club every chance of staying up.
“But I can’t give guarantees, as you all know.”