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First Team

Hodgson: It's A Team Game

19 October 2017

Wilfried Zaha’s return from injury could not have gone better last Saturday as his goal on the stroke of half time sealed the club’s home victory against Chelsea and once again showed the qualities the winger brings to the Eagles side.

Roy Hodgson is the first to stress that it is a team game and no one player should be responsible for being the one to have to improve the club’s league position but nonetheless was certainly impressed at the winger’s first performance since he took over the managerial reins at the club.

“He is a top class player and has been a talisman for the club in the past but football is a team game and as much as you need your top class players it's unfair to suggest that if we are going to get out of the trouble we currently find ourselves in then its got to be down to one man although we need to make certain we get the best out of him and support him in the best way we can.

“I was delighted for Wilf because I thought it was an exceptionally good performance especially given the circumstances, as he had been out for six weeks.  I am rather hoping we will get another 30 performances like that from him going forward,” said Hodgson at his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s match against Newcastle at St James Park.

Having had to sit out the early part of Hodgson’s managerial career at Palace due to the injury sustained on the opening day against Huddersfield Town, Zaha did not get an immediate chance to join training sessions under the new boss but he is certainly a player who the former England manager has been impressed with and he is one that can only continue to improve.

“I think he is good but he can become even better, it would be wrong of me to start comparing him with other players I have coached because I have only really worked with him for three weeks on the training pitch here and some sessions with England a long time ago and the Chelsea game last week so it would be wrong for me to make comparisons.  But if you are asking me whether I think he is a very good player with a great future and the chance to get even better then he is at the moment then I would have to answer with a resounding yes.”

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