Bakary Sako goes into this weekend’s fixture at Swansea City on the back of two goals in a couple of matches as he continues to impress boss Roy Hodgson. He has been working at changing his position on the field of play and the manager has been impressed with the striker’s work rate as he pushes for a regular starting place in the side.
“I have been impressed with him even before he came on as sub in the last two games and scored on both occasions. In the training sessions I have seen, in my opinion, a different person over the last couple of months than the one I saw in my first month. He is working at playing in a different position, he’s playing more centrally in the team and in training than he was when I came here, performing as a left winger. He has worked really hard at his game to take on all the things that we work on every single day and that is in addition to him improving his fitness."
During the absence of Christian Benteke after his injury at Manchester City in September the manager was given a headache as to his replacement but believes that the Malian striker now gives him another option to choose from.
“I can do nothing but heap praise on him for his attitude and has certainly reduced some of the fears we had when Christian was unfit and we didn’t feel we had anyone who could step in and do that type of job, Bakary has enabled us now to feel a lot more comfortable in that respect.
“There is still a lot of work for him to do though and the real test will come when I put him in the team from the start, either with Benteke or in place of him and his performance then will be very important in us making that judgement of how far he has come in our eyes".
Watch the pre-match press conference now or if viewing on the App, go to Palace TV and into the video channel.