Roy Hodgson admits his Crystal Palace side HAVE to rediscover their winning touch without ‘influential’ Wilfried Zaha… with Eagles having lost 18 of their last 20 Premier League matches in the star winger’s absence ahead of Brighton clash on Monday
- Crystal Palace have lost their last two matches against Leeds Utd and Burnley
- Roy Hodgson’s side have struggled since Wilfried Zaha picked up an injury
- The Eagles boss has urged his side to start winning games without the winger
- Hodgson’s team travel down south to play rivals Brighton on Monday evening
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson admits his side need to start winning games in the absence of star winger Wilfried Zaha.
The Eagles have looked short of confidence in shipping five goals combined against Leeds and Burnley in their last two matches, struggling to cope without Zaha who is out-of-action with a hamstring injury picked up in the win at Newcastle on February 2.
Palace have now lost 18 of their last 20 Premier League games without the 28-year-old featuring, failing to score in all but two of those 18 – and Hodgson has urged his team to rediscover their winning touch at rivals Brighton on Monday.
Roy Hodgson admits his side need to start winning games in the absence of Wilfried Zaha
‘It will be too soon, it was quite a nasty muscle injury he got, so once again we will have to go into the game with the sword of Damocles hanging over us in the fact that if we do not win it, it will be because Wilf is not there,’ Hodgson told Sky Sports.
‘He has been so unbelievably influential during my time at the club, he has done a fantastic job for us, he has contributed and helped us every year to get us to where we’ve been, i.e. outside the relegation zone and looking forward to another Premiership year.
‘But the fact is we must find a way of making certain it is not a case of if he does not play, we cannot win because the fact is these other players have a lot of talent and skill too and we cannot deny the fact or criticise anyone for making the fact known, or asking me the question what about it. I do not complain about that.
‘But certainly the players, I know will be a little bit disappointed to feel it is as simple as Wilf plays we win, Wilf does not play, we don’t, because they know that injuries happen and you have to learn to deal with it.
Zaha suffered a hamstring injury in Palace’s last victory – against Newcastle on February 2
‘But we are not alone, when clubs miss their best player. When Harry Kane has not played for Tottenham, there has been more difficulty for them to get results.
‘But it is a fact we have to try and deal with and if we want to get that monkey off our back, then we had better start winning games when Wilf is not there.’
Zaha has scored nine Premier League goals this season and is – by some distance – Palace’s top scorer, with Eberechi Eze and Christian Benteke joint-second on three goals.
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