- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Roy Hodgson returned to soccer management for the first time since leaving his job as England coach last year, taking over at Premier League struggler Crystal Palace on Tuesday as a replacement for the fired Frank de Boer.

The 70-year-old Hodgson signed a two-year contract with his boyhood club.

Palace lost its first four league games of the season without scoring, with its players failing to adapt to a more expansive style of play under De Boer following his arrival in the offseason. The Dutchman was fired on Monday after just 77 days at the club.

Hodgson’s four-year spell with England ended in humiliating fashion at the European Championship in 2016 when his team was beaten by Iceland in the round of 16. Within minutes of the final whistle, he announced he’d be stepping down - even though his contract was due to expire anyway.

“I am very excited to be back in club football,” Hodgson said, “and it is a long while since I have enjoyed the day-to-day sessions of training.”

A well-traveled and globally respected coach who has worked at clubs in England, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark and Norway, Hodgson will extend his managerial career to a 41st year. He has also managed the national teams of Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and Finland.

Hodgson recalled watching Palace, his local team, as a child. He also played for Palace’s youth side.

“In those days, I had dreams of playing for the team, then as a coach you think about coaching the team and a lot has happened in between times,” he said.

“It is very rewarding to find myself here now, in different times, as the Palace manager at a club that I have always loved and admired with a huge potential.”

Hodgson’s first game in charge of Palace will be against Southampton at home on Saturday.


More AP Premier League coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/PremierLeague


Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80

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