It will be Hodgson’s first game since leaving Watford at the end of the 2021-22 season 10 months ago and it was generally assumed then that it would be his final job.
However, Hodgson returned to Palace where he worked from 2017-21, earlier this month to replace Patrick Vieira with a remit of keeping the club in the top-flight.
“I would think if [Sir] Alex was to text me he’d be saying ‘what are you doing you fool?’” Hodgson quipped when asked whether other managers had reached out since he rejoined Palace.
“I’ve had lots of nice messages, I am fortunate as well I always get messages from abroad so yes that’s always a nice thing.
“But again this is that nice period, training has been very enjoyable, I’ve really enjoyed being out there with the players, it’s been a very pleasant time. It hasn’t been enormously stressful because we haven’t lost a game yet, but the stress I’m afraid starts on Saturday.”
Hodgson will break his own record as the Premier League’s oldest manager in history this weekend, becoming the first manager in their 75th year to take charge of a game.
When Hodgson did a lap of honour at Selhurst Park in one of his final games at Watford – a move that infuriated the Hornets’ faithful – it looked like a farewell.
But Hodgson insisted that he never officially retired and was open to coming back to the game if the right opportunity arose.
“I’d accepted that I’ve retired because that’s what everyone’s been saying,” he said.
“Whenever I walk down the street people say to me ‘are you enjoying your retirement?’ but at the same time I’ve never really felt old enough to retire if the truth’s known. I know that I am, my birth certificate tells me I am but the way I feel doesn’t really tell me that.”