Hodgson says Wolves should not allow “cruelty of fate” to shape their campaign
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have lost three successive games ahead of match against Crystal Palace.
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson does not believe Wolves should allow “the cruelty of fate” to impact on their ambitions this season.
Nuno Espirito Santo saw his side suffer a third successive defeat when beaten 1-0 at home by Braga in their opening Europa League match on Thursday night.
In stark contrast to the last campaign, Wolves remain without a win from five Premier League matches, albeit having drawn three.
Hodgson, though, will not underestimate the challenge facing his side at Selhurst Park on Sunday.
“They have obviously not got the start they would have wanted. They have had a few disappointing results and I am sure they will be upset about the cruelty of fate,” the Palace boss said.
“I watched the (Braga) game and if a team was going to win, I thought it would be them, so to come away from that with a defeat will be a bitter blow.
“But it shouldn’t affect their confidence as a team, because I thought they played very well and that they are playing every bit as well, watching the game, as they did last season.
“I fully expect them to get points in the bag very soon, because they are a strong side, but I just hope they will wait until after our game on Sunday to do so.”
Hodgson has plenty of experience of the challenges of a lengthy Europa League campaign, guiding Fulham to the 2009-10 final against Atletico Madrid.
Just like Burnley before them, Wolves appear to be struggling with the additional workload.
“There is no doubt that does affect you,” Hodgson said at a press conference.
“We (Fulham) dropped from seventh to 12th and I would put that down to the extra games, of the group stages, the knockout stages and the final, because you need a big squad to deal with that.
“It is not easy for teams like Fulham and Wolves to have that sort of squad, and having almost two teams to play.
“You end up playing your best XI for a lot of games and that will, with the best will in the world, take its toll.”
Hodgson added: “As we saw with Burnley last year, and we are now seeing with Wolves, it is something they will have to struggle with, and write off to some extent, if they want to add to their CV to play in European football.
“It might be the price you have to pay, unless you can get two teams of equal strength, which the top teams can do.
“It does come, as we all know, with the disadvantage of playing Sunday-Thursday-Sunday. The recovery time and preparation time is a lot less than it would be if you weren’t playing, but I never complained about that at Fulham.
“I took it as a fact of being in the competition, that is what you have to do and you get on with it in the best possible way to make sure it wasn’t too much of a disadvantage – but I can’t say it is no disadvantage.”