EPL

Palace players excited for ‘new direction’ under Oliver Glasner – Sam Johnstone

By Sports Desk February 20, 2024

Crystal Palace goalkeeper Sam Johnstone hopes different ideas from new manager Oliver Glasner will help lift the club clear of relegation danger.

Monday evening’s 1-1 draw at Everton came just hours after it was announced that Roy Hodgson, who had fallen ill during training last week, was stepping down and former Eintracht Frankfurt head coach Glasner was taking over.

Palace, with their new boss watching from the directors’ box alongside chairman Steve Parish, had looked on course to register only their third win in the last 14 Premier League matches until Amadou Onana’s 84th-minute header cancelled out Jordan Ayew’s opener.

Victory at Goodison Park would have lifted the visitors eight points clear of the bottom three and given Glasner some much-needed breathing space, but the draw left them only five ahead of Luton, who dropped to 18th as Everton edged out of the drop zone on goal difference.

“It’s sad to see Roy leave and the way it happened, but we’re excited to see a new manager come in,” Johnstone said.

“He (Glasner) will be in this week and we are all excited for the new direction which will bring new ideas.

“He will put his own print on the team and hopefully that can take us up the table.

“The only thing that will change is he will give us new ideas to freshen us up. We go out to train every day to give 100 per cent, we go out every game to give 100 per cent which we will carry on doing.

“It will just be a case of some different ideas, a different way of playing and everyone is up for that.

“That is the only change really because as professional athletes, footballers, we go out every day and give 100 per cent.”

Johnstone paid tribute to his former manager and the impact Hodgson had made during five years over two spells at Selhurst Park.

Asked about the 76-year-old’s legacy, he replied: “Massive. The club has been in the Premier League for 10 years and Roy has been manager for four or five years of them,” he added.

“He’s a great person, first and foremost, and a great manager, so obviously it was tough but we are all glad to see he is well.”

The squad only found out about Hodgson’s departure on the day of the game and, considering the uncertainty in the build-up, Johnstone felt the players coped well.

“It’s been in the media for a few days,” he said. “The focus really was to put that behind us as well as we could, get on with the game and try to get a result for him, for Crystal Palace, the fans and the new manager.

“We’re obviously disappointed we didn’t get three, but at a place like this you could always come away with none.

“It was a tough game and the lads worked hard, so a good point.”

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