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First Team

Hodgson: Mama Makes Us A Stronger Unit

1 December 2017

Mamadou Sakho’s first match under Roy Hodgson in the Carabao Cup victory against Huddersfield Town was to be the first of his nine appearances this season, including the last two as captain.

Since his permanent move in August he has continued the form shown during his loan spell last season and Hodgson believes he is the ideal candidate to be named skipper in the absence of two of his senior professionals. He has been pleased to see the defender's form continue even with the extra responsibility of the armband. 

“He’s just carried on really from the performances since he came into the team. I think he might have played the nine games since he came into the team and he's done well. He’s borne the responsibility of being an expensive signing & player brought in to help us at the back and make us a stronger unit in the back four. I don't see any reasons to actually highlight the last two performances other than the previous seven. He's continued along the same vein.

“Obviously those performances were one of the reasons I decided to give him the captaincy when both Jason Puncheon and Scott Dann weren’t available. I supposed the fact he scored a rebound from the ball off the post against Stoke that changes everything in everyone's eyes but it doesn’t change a great deal in my eyes.

Hodgson is a manager who has named three different captains since being at Palace and even though he feels it’s a position within a team of importance, he is quick to point out that the holder should only get the recognition if their work rate deserves it.

“I think it is exaggerated sometimes but on the other hand I'm not prepared to decry it in any way. I think it is an honour and one that should be bestowed upon people whose performances deserve it and whose status within the group deserves it. Jason Puncheon, Scott Dann and Mamadou Sakho are all in that category. There were other players if Mamadou wasn’t available I would also be quite prepared to say come into that category, but I don't think it necessarily deserves sometimes the importance that the media would like to give it because the captain really is, like the rest of the players, depending upon what happens in training and within the club. His voice will only be the voice of a player.”

Watch the full press conference ahead of West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace.

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