ROY HODGSON oversaw Watford’s relegation — and then explained why he did NOT salute the long-suffering away fans.
The Hornets’ demise was sealed with a 1-0 Prem defeat at Crystal Palace thanks to Wilfried Zaha’s 31st-minute penalty.
They also played the last 21 minutes with ten men after Hassane Kamara’s second yellow card.
Former Eagles boss Hodgson, 74, was cheered warmly by home fans but at the full-time whistle he failed to go over and acknowledge the travelling Hornets supporters.
After suffering the first top-flight relegation of his 46-year career he said: “Unfortunately they were a bit too far away.
“They were in the far corner and I was being dragged towards the tunnel by one or two of the Palace players that I know.
“Yeah, I suppose in hindsight you are probably right about that — but hindsight is a wonderful thing. The Watford fans have been really good.
“They are not stupid people, they realised this will probably be curtains for us and yet they still cheered us on and even had gallows humour.”
With three Prem matches left, 19th-placed Watford cannot catch Burnley or Leeds and will be demoted for the second time in three years.
Hodgson added: “I have no regrets taking this job.
“It has been a tough week. That is why this performance is one that really satisfied me.
“We could have easily collapsed and suffered a serious defeat. We lost 1-0 with ten men to a penalty which should never have been given.”
Eagles chief Patrick Vieira, who took over from Hodgson last summer, is eyeing a top-ten finish.
The Frenchman, 45, said: “Given the career he has had as a manager, he is an example for all the top coaches.
“We have three games left and we want to build for next season. It is important to finish well.”