“Incredible” – Palace boss Roy Hodgson on Wilfried Zaha’s goal contribution this season

Roy Hodgson has described Wilfried Zaha’s goal return this season as “incredible” – with the Crystal Palace attacker already surpassing his haul for the previous campaign.

The Eagles talisman provided an assist for Jairo Riedewald in Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Fulham before sliding in to convert Michy Batshuayi’s low cross.

Zaha has netted five times in six Premier League matches, with Palace winning three and drawing one of those fixtures.

Last season he only scored four times in 39 games.

Zaha produced seven dribbles against Fulham – four more than Ademola Lookman. No other player on either side managed more than two.

Eagles manager Roy Hodgson said: “Once again every press conference begins with Wilfried Zaha in one way or another and if I’m not careful I have to explain to him that what he regards as negative comments were not delivered negatively.

“I don’t come in here to talk about Wilf, I really come in here to talk about our team’s performance.

“I’m more than happy today to praise him but that’s quite a common occurence because he does so many good things and he’s started this season so well. It’s his fifth goal, which is quite incredible, and an assist into the bargain.

“I’m more than happy with him and at the moment he’s showing he’s more than happy with us and the way we’re trying to play.”

Palace’s third win of the season moved them up to fifth in the Premier League table.

Hodgson said: “Last week everyone was relegating us – it goes quickly in this game!

“One sight we’ve set is not to concede goals between the 94th and 95th minute, that would be one good one to set. Had we managed to do that we’d have one goal better in our goal difference and two more points in the bag.

“We’re more than happy to get 10 points from six games. I don’t think league positions after six games are of any great importance. Once you get over the halfway stage it becomes a bit more relevant.

“We’ve got a stronger squad, no question of that. That’s a major factor. The team discipline, organisation and workrate is also extremely important. Even on days when our passing and attacking playing isn’t quite as good as it was today, we still stay in games and give ourselves a chance of getting points in games.

“The team spirit is very good. They know what they’ve got to do to try and climb up the table.”

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