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Hodgson updates on team fitness

12 February 2021

Roy Hodgson confirmed that Wilfried Zaha is still working to return to fitness, but said he was confident in his players’ ability to step up in his absence.

“It's only one week into his muscle injury,” he said in his pre-Burnley press conference, “so we’re anticipating it will take more time than that for him to recover.

“The same applies for [James] McArthur and [James] McCarthy, the same applies to [James] Tomkins and Jeffrey Schlupp.

“The only piece of good news for me is that Joel Ward is able to come back into the squad after missing out against Leeds.”

Hodgson pointed out that continuing to get results without Zaha was a challenge the squad would be eager to accomplish.


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12 February 2021

“Statistics can prove that we win fewer games when he’s not playing,” he said. “As a result he deserves all the plaudits he’s rightly received during his time at the club, for helping us get the results we get.

“If you are a player who is not playing every week, and you’re watching Wilf get all the plaudits, and then when he doesn’t play and you do, the results don’t go the way you want them to go, you have to read: ‘they can’t win without Wilfried Zaha.’

“It’s up to those players who are on the receiving end of those comments and criticisms to get out there and prove that…we aren’t totally dependent on him. The only way that’s going to happen is if we start winning games when he’s not there.

“It's a very simple mindset. We have a squad of 25 players, and only 11 can play. If you’re one of the 14 that are not playing, your mindset should be simple: I want to play, I want to prove that I’m a very good Premier League player too.

“It's a mindset that all the players through the years have wanted, and it's: ‘let me show you what I can do.’”

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