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Roy Hodgson fears more pain ahead for Palace after disappointing homecoming

• ‘Anxiety there for all to see’ in 1-0 loss to Southampton, says Hodgson
• New Eagles manager aiming to stop players ‘digging themselves into a grave’

Roy Hodgson described defeat in his first match as Crystal Palace manager as a painful experience and said his principal task is to prevent his players “digging themselves into a grave”. Palace find themselves rooted to the bottom of the Premier League on the back of no wins and no goals in the opening five fixtures of the campaign – a top-flight record – and they now face a daunting set of fixtures.

Steven Davis’s sixth-minute goal condemned Palace to a deserved 1-0 loss to Southampton and ruined Hodgson’s homecoming after the Croydon-born 70-year-old had been appointed Frank de Boer’s successor as manager at the start of last week. The hosts displayed plenty of endeavour but once again lacked quality and assurance in attacking areas. Their last league goal was scored by Patrick van Aanholt in a 4-0 home victory against Hull on 14 May in their penultimate match of the season and their hopes of maintaining their top-flight status, having achieved promotion in 2013, are already beginning to look bleak. They now face successive trips to the Manchester clubs before a visit from Chelsea.

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