Roy Hodgson has urged his Crystal Palace players to demonstrate a “lack of fear” ahead of his first match since returning to the Premier League strugglers.
The 75-year-old former England manager, previously in charge of the Eagles from 2017-21, arrived back at the south London club last week on a contract until the end of the season after they sacked Patrick Vieira.
Palace has gone 12 games without a win in the Premier League, albeit several of those fixtures were against leading teams, and is just three points above the relegation zone heading into Saturday’s match at home to 17th-placed Leicester City.
“I want to see some energy,” Hodgson told Palace’s website on Tuesday.
“I want to see some enthusiasm.
“I want to see that they (players) are aware of our situation, and they are aware that the fans need to be boosted as well, (and want) to see a team that they can believe in, and get behind.
“Any tactical changes or tweaks we want to make, we’ll be working on from now until the end of May, but for this first game... I want energy, I want enthusiasm, I want optimism, and I want a lack of fear.”
Hodgson, a boyhood Palace fan, added: “I want players with the quality we have to show those qualities, and not be frightened that they’re going to fail in some way.
“Go out there, don’t be scared to fail, trust in yourself, trust in your team-mates -- and trust our fans to pull us though.”
Palace’s last league win was a 2-0 success at second-bottom Bournemouth on New Year’s Eve and it has taken just five points from a possible 36 since then.