After seeing Jordan Ayew score his first goal for Crystal Palace to set up the Eagles’ 2-0 win against Wolves, Roy Hodgson believes his striker has received the reward his all-round displays have deserved.
The Ghanaian striker showed great composure to tuck away his one big chance of the game with seven minutes to go and break his Palace duck, before Luka Milivojevic added a late penalty to seal another fine with on their travels, and Hodgson is pleased that Ayew is finally off the mark.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, he spoke about a number of issues, including:
Jordan Ayew: “He's done a lot of good work, and did a lot of good work before the goal with his defending, his stretching of the defence and his hold-up play, but as a forward you do need goals.
“People are only going to regard you as a good forward on that and he’s had to wait a while for one, but if anyone deserved the goal tonight it was him and he took it extremely well.”
Recalling Ayew: “We’ve had three very difficult games such as Manchester City and Chelsea, and we’ve sometimes modified our system but stuck to the same principles. Sometimes we’ve had two up front and sometimes we play with one, and today we played with three.
“That means Jordan sometimes get sacrificed in those moments, but it was good to bring him back into the team tonight and also see Wilf and Andros do so well in the wide positions.”
Performance: “I thought it was a good beginning and end, and a good 95 minutes. It was goalless for a long time but not through want of trying on our part. We dominated possession and had the ball in our opponents’ half of the field so that’s something the team deserve a lot of praise for.
“We were playing against a team that were coming off the back of beating Tottenham 3-1, so to come here tonight and play a team with confidence and who are doing so well in the league and play the way we did and win the game deservedly, I’ve got to be very satisfied.”
League position: “We been looking up the table since the start of the season because the team is one that can certainly happily play in the middle of the table. You saw that tonight, at Manchester City and many other performances, but of course if we’re going to get there we have to score more goals because we don’t let that many in.
“The players are trying their very best to put that right but I’m always hoping and believing that given the performances we’ve given so far this year that our position is a little bit false. I think we’ve proved that tonight by coming to a difficult place against a team that have been doing very well, and playing as we did shows that it’s not wrong to be looking up the table.
“On the other hand we remain humble. Our aim this year is to avoid that relegation zone and hopefully in the months and years to come the club will get a little more stable.”
Striking options in January: “We’ve got a man coming back we hope. Benteke trains with us tomorrow and obviously he’ll be fully back with us in the course of the next week. If he gets match fit then that will be to an extent a new signing this year because we’ve hardly seen him.
“If there are other players that the club can bring in, I certainly won’t be averse to that because we have a very small squad and we haven’t had a lot to back us up at the minute. We’re on the lookout of course and the chairman and technical director are anxious to do what they can to give me and my coaching staff more support, but it’s not easy certainly when you have limited transfer resources.”