Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has lamented a piece of misfortune which succumbed his side to a 1-0 loss to Newcastle on Saturday, but the former England manager insisted his side are showing encouraging signs even if positive results have not been forthcoming.
The Eagles looked destined to secure a 0-0 draw at St James' Park as both sides looked devoid of ideas in attack however, Mikel Merino had other ideas as he clinched the three points for the home side after a series of deflections led to his header hitting the back of the net with just four minutes of normal time to play.
Despite admitting football can throw up the worst of luck, Hodgson felt thought his side deserved to come away from the game with a result and was convinced the Eagles are showing promising signs which will pull them away from the league's bottom three.
Following the game, Hodgson said, via football.london: "Of course at 0-0 anything can happen and it happened to us from a corner. Watching the replay we were unlucky that McArthur's header actually cannons into Merino and whizzes past our goalkeeper so that was a further piece of bad luck.
"It's not the first time in my life where I've had a team do well enough to get a good result and not get it.
Cast your mind back to 2013, CPFC, only 3 points in November, we're not done yet, keep the faith, we go again 🔴🔵🔴🔵— LWOS Crystal Palace (@LWOS_CPFC) October 21, 2017
"There were so many aspects of our play, so many periods where we did more than enough to come away from St James' Park with a result.
When asked what encouragement he could take from Saturday's game, Hodgson added: "The encouragement is all the work that these players are putting in on weekly basis.
"I believe I see them improving at the way we are trying to play, we're getting some players back; Zaha of course is a massive boost to have him back, Benteke is not so far away before he comes back as well.
"So there are signs on the horizon that our squad will get stronger with players who have got recognised Premier League ability, which we didn't have when I first came to the club.
"I shall stop believing [pulling Palace from the bottom of the table] when the number of points we are behind doesn't match the numbers of games that are left. That's not going to happen in October. It could be March, April at the earliest so there is a lot of work to do before then."