Roy Hodgson believes Crystal Palace’s upturn in form since his arrival last month is fully deserved ahead of their Premier League clash against Everton on Saturday.
Palace, on 36 points from 31 games, continue their bid for safety this weekend when they host Sean Dyche’s side at Selhurst Park.
The Eagles have been transformed since the return of Hodgson, who replaced the sacked Patrick Vieira, after three consecutive wins.
Hodgson said: “If the team does well enough to deserve, which I think it has done, to get three consecutive victories, suddenly those feelings (criticism) are dissipated at least, that noise dissipates and you can feel better with yourself and more confident that we always thought we could do this and now we’re starting to prove it.
“Maybe the problem is going to be now that we have got to make certain in the next couple of games that we don’t lose anything and what has got us these three victories.”
Since Hodgson returned to Selhurst Park, Palace have scored nine goals in three games – a tally the team managed in the 16 Premier League matches before Vieira departed.
Hodgson credited the improved attacking output to his dangerous forward players.
“The improvement is down to the players, the improvement is down to the fact that we arrived and came to the club and the players here who are dangerous in attacking positions and have got the ability and talent they posses to beat opponents and score goals, they get into dangerous scoring opportunities, we have encouraged them to do that,” he added.
“Full credit to them (players) they have taken that encouragement on board, the support we’ve been trying to give them if they do try other things out if you like and taken that on board as well, it’s paid some dividends.
“We’re not Manchester City, they score a couple of goals if not more because they create so many chances, that’s not what we are, we are working at what we try to do, try to encourage and support the players and keep encouraging them that the structure that we try to have in our team to get into the forward positions where goals can be scored.”
Ebere Eze has scored three in as many games, including a brace in last week’s 2-0 victory over Southampton, and has filled the boots of the injured Wilfried Zaha.
Hodgson signed 24-year-old Eze from QPR in 2020 and talked up the midfielder’s recent performances despite previous injury setbacks, including an Achilles rupture in 2021.
He said: “Since he first arrived at the club he has come a very long way and what’s more is that he has come over some very long injuries.
“The Achilles is a dangerous tendon to damage so I think he’s done extremely well to come over that as well and to benefit. Extra experience what he got last year playing in the Premier League and this year too, I think that’s very important for him.
“We saw in him when he was brought to the club a player with tremendous potential and all we’re seeing now is a player who is having a good spell and is showing people having faith in my potential is right because (he is showing) this is how good I am.
“His task now is to keep it going through the next one or two seasons because he shouldn’t lose what he has, if anything he should slightly hone the performances in every season that passes by and that’s what I’d expect from him.”