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'They didn't want me' - Roy Hodgson on past links to Norwich City job

Roy Hodgson was linked with the Norwich City vacancy when Alex Neil departed. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Roy Hodgson was linked with the Norwich City vacancy when Alex Neil departed. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Roy Hodgson joked he was not wanted by Norwich City before plotting Crystal Palace's great escape from Premier League relegation certainties.

Hodgson returned to the club game in September 2017 after a sour end to his England spell, but during his stint out of work he did speak to close friend and City majority shareholder Delia Smith.

The vastly-experienced manager was touted as an early front runner to replace Alex Neil at Carrow Road, until the club’s top brass opted for a bold new approach with the appointments of Stuart Webber and Daniel Farke.

Hodgson was asked whether he would ever consider swapping Palace for the Canaries by a City fan during a live broadcast of The Times ‘The Game’ football podcast.

“I don’t think Norwich want me. I did speak to Delia when I was out of work actually,” he said. “There was some talk I would go and help but they didn’t want me. They chose someone else.”

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Palace lost their opening eight top flight games before finishing 11 points clear of the bottom three after Hodgson was drafted in to replace Frank de Boer.

“Seeing the players and how responsive they were you felt we had a chance,” he said. “I didn’t think we would get there before the end of the season. We felt it might take until the last two games but we did it before and what made it special for me is we had an injury crisis the like of which I have never had before in my career.”

Hodgson is rooting for his old club Fulham in Saturday’s Championship play-off final against Aston Villa.

“They are the two who deserve to be there for different reasons,” he said. “One is a team who have been building for two years and I think Slavisa Jokanovic has done a fantastic job in nurturing some of these young players and a style of play which is quite a bold and brave style in some ways.

“We used to be told you can’t play your way out of the Championship, you have to play simplistic football, but Fulham have shown that is not true.

“Aston Villa have done it through more experience with Steve Bruce with many matches behind them.

“It is a fascinating match.”

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