Patrick Vieira: Roy Hodgson ‘very optimistic’ on Premier League

Media playback is not supported on this device Match highlights: Watford 1-0 Crystal Palace Patrick Vieira says Crystal Palace’s progress in the Premier League this season is a good sign for the league -…

Patrick Vieira: Roy Hodgson 'very optimistic' on Premier League

Media playback is not supported on this device Match highlights: Watford 1-0 Crystal Palace

Patrick Vieira says Crystal Palace’s progress in the Premier League this season is a good sign for the league – even if they have not won enough matches.

Roy Hodgson’s team, currently in 13th place, ended their run of three games without a win with a narrow win over Watford on Tuesday.

They are five points above the relegation zone and have picked up 19 points from their 20 games this season.

“I do think the league is in good shape,” said former Arsenal and Manchester City manager Vieira.

“It’s going to be quite tough [to get out of trouble], but [the] table shows you can definitely do it.

“There’s a lot of exciting matches coming up, we’re very hopeful of getting those wins and moving ourselves up the table.

“I think you need to win games to get out of difficult situations like we’re in.”

Palace manager Roy Hodgson, whose side are one place above the relegation zone, says his players continue to impress

Asked if Palace were improving under Hodgson, Vieira, who worked as an assistant to him at international level, said: “I’m not too sure about that, I think it’s an ideal environment to coach.

“In my experience, I never met anyone who was very passionate about football in a different country – when I arrived from Italy and France and was very much involved in the clubs in England, the philosophy was quite different, but this Premier League, the ownership, is very similar to the Italian Serie A, so the thought process is very similar and the ownership is very similar.

“They all believe in what Roy says – that’s the problem, they all accept. You get the best out of each other and that’s exactly what you need.”

Palace lost at champions Chelsea and at home to Newcastle in December to leave them without a win in six games.

Hodgson, who succeeded the sacked Frank de Boer in November, believes they have finally started to show signs of improvement following their run of three games without a win.

He said: “I really do think we’re much better than what we’ve shown and we are not quite over the line. But certainly we’re much, much better than when we last played.”

Hodgson added: “There is still a long way to go, but it shows there is progress being made.”

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