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Hodgson predicts 'tough' Ward set for 'way, way' more Palace appearances

24 September 2020

Roy Hodgson took the chance to praise Joel Ward when asked to comment on the Palace defender approaching his 250th Palace appearance.

Ward will hit the landmark total should he feature against Everton in Palace's upcoming home match - putting him ahead of club legend, Geoff Thomas.

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Match preview: Crystal Palace v Everton

24 September 2020

The 30-year-old is currently the second-most played Palace player in the club's squad, sitting behind Wilfried Zaha on 364.

Hodgson has managed in four of Ward's nine seasons in south London and is well placed to comment on the right-back's commitment. 

Speaking in his pre-Everton press conference, Hodgson said: "It’s an impressive achievement, there’s no question of that. Two-hundred-and-fifty games is a lot of games. He’s been very, very reliable, very consistent in his performances.

"I think he’s playing better than at any other stage during my time working with him and my time working with him has been good throughout. He’s a super professional, a very hard working player who always gives his absolute best. He’s a very tough and solid defender and I think he’s adding things to his game as he goes along and gets a little bit older."

The Palace manager then ended with a prediction for Ward, who he has now coached for over three calendar years. He said: "He’s still got plenty of years left in him and I wouldn’t be surprised if those 250 games for Crystal Palace go way, way beyond that and I hope that’s what he’s targeting."

We look forward to them, Wardy.

READ NEXT: Hodgson confirms Benteke's availability and 'one or two' returning to fitness

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