​Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has said the Eagles must stop flirting with relegation as it could eventually prove costly for the club.

The former England boss came in after Frank de Boer was sacked, 10 weeks after signing a three-year deal at Selhurst Park, having lost his first four games in charge without a single goal being scored.

Burnley v Crystal Palace - Premier League

That should have set Palace up nicely for relegation, but Hodgson's arrival proved a turnaround and he managed to steer the struggling side to an 11th-place finish in the end.

“I think we need help in terms of the squad," the manager said in an exclusive interview with ​The Telegraph. "We need to strengthen because we are going to lose players, we’re going to lose some quite important ones, not least Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who goes back to Chelsea. 

"You can’t flirt with relegation every year. We’ve got to become a much more stable team who people would expect to finish somewhere between eighth and 16th every year.”

Wilfried Zaha also played a huge role in the side's fight for survival during the season. And Hodgson claims the Eagles are unwilling to let him leave, amid links to ​Chelsea and ​Liverpool.

“The way our club’s evolved, the wage bill is quite high," he claimed. "A lot of the players are earning decent money, so I don’t know that it’s going to be that easy for clubs to come in and take him away in the sense of - ‘blimey, if I go there I can get my wage doubled or troubled,’ which does happen with some players.

Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

“He’s moved beyond that. He’s being paid what he deserves for a club like ours. The clubs in our ballpark wouldn’t be able to tempt him away with more money, that’s for sure. 

"Once again you’re talking about the really big money clubs who can attract anyone in the world - then it will be up to Wilf [Zaha] to decide how he weighs that up, against playing somewhere where’s he very comfortable, and is respected, in a decent team playing the right sort of football, which suits him, vis-a-vis taking a chance and going to one of these other clubs.

“I know Crystal Palace will do everything in our power to thwart any moves. We certainly don’t want to sell him or need to sell him."