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Zaha reaction impresses Hodgson as Crystal Palace hold Everton

Omnisport
NEWS
News
10 Aug 2019, 23:58 IST
Zaha - Cropped
Wilfried Zaha comes off the bench against Everton

Wilfried Zaha's reaction to staying at Crystal Palace has impressed manager Roy Hodgson.

The winger came off the substitutes' bench to play the last 25 minutes of his side's 0-0 home Premier League draw against 10-man Everton, who had Morgan Schneiderlin sent off.

Arsenal and Everton were among the teams to pursue Zaha, 26, during the transfer window, with the player making his desire to leave clear.

But after remaining at Selhurst Park beyond deadline day, Zaha's return to action saw him given a generous reception by the Palace fans when he entered the pitch on Saturday.

"I thought he handled it very well," Hodgson said at his post-match media conference.

"The crowd helped. It was nice to have him available. It was good to have him to come on - and Connor Wickham too. I thought the two front players [Jordan Ayew and Christian Benteke] did an exceptional job, but they were tiring.

"I only really saw him [Zaha] on Friday. He was fine. He was excellent in the dressing room.

"The fact is that situation has been and gone. I am sure he will bring his straw to the water to help us have a good season."

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Asked if he was concerned about losing Zaha when the transfer window re-opens, Hodgson replied: "We are in August! You are asking the wrong man. I am not worried about January at the moment."

Speaking to BBC Sport, Hodgson added of Zaha: "He did well, he did what we hoped he would do – create opportunities, set us up for a Max Meyer chance that could have won us the game.

"He almost helped us take three points. A couple of times he had to be bundled off the ball at the last minute. He's a little bit rusty, of course when a player comes back from three weeks away he's going to need a bit of time to find his true form. 

"He's phenomenal as an athlete when it comes to fitness, but to get him back to full capacity it will take a week or two."

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