Roy Hodgson says that there will “no doubt” be some Crystal Palace players who do not see their contracts renewed at the club this summer – but they must maintain focus to keep the club in the Premier League.
Palace currently have a large number of players out of contract at the end of the season, and are currently suffering from an injury crisis that has seen Hodgson unable to do much in terms of squad rotation.
The likes of Christian Benteke, Patrick van Aanholt and Gary Cahill are all out of contract at the end of the season, as well as many others, but Hodgson says the club are content to delay informing players who will not be receiving a new contract while there are still vital games to play.
They face a Fulham side on Sunday who are hoping to avoid relegation this season after suffering an awful start to the season. But Scott Parker’s team are on a good run of form currently.
Hodgson says that the club are hoping to push conversations about players’ futures for as long as possible, and that they should still be giving their best with a third of the season still to play despite any uncertainty over their careers.
“It’s not been discussed as yet,” Hodgson said when asked about a squad rejuvenation and whether he’d given the club his recommendation on players that could leave.
“I’m certain that when the day comes – I’m pretty certain that the club are informing players about their intentions in terms of when they intend to sit down seriously and discuss what the next step is.
“There’s a third of the season still to go, these players are still under contract. It’s not unfair, I don’t think, of us to ask those players to keep giving their best, to keep playing to the absolute top level of their ability in order to earn the amount of money we’re paying them.
“But there will come a time, I’m sure, when they’ll want to know: ‘What is my future – is it here with you or am I going to be allowed to leave?’ Because they’ll be looking to find other clubs if they don’t get the contract here. I know that both the chairman and the sporting director are both fully aware of that.
“But I think it’s sometimes not a good thing if you very early on let players know that you don’t want them any more, all the time we are depending very heavily on them. There will no doubt be some who don’t necessarily get a new contract.
“And I think the further we can push that conversation down the road, the decision that’s been made down the road, the better it will be for the club, the better it will be for us in the next few weeks to try and get the extra points we need to stay in the league.
“Because don’t forget – it’s all very well talking about players’ futures, but this club’s future is important, too. These players who I’ve been given to work with this year, they really should only have one clear goal in their mind at the moment: and that’s to make sure they earn their money and do the things that they’ve been asked to do to keep this club in the league.
“Their long term futures… Well, that’s something they’ll have to deal with when the time is right.”