“We can’t deny we’ve missed Wilfried Zaha’s quality” – Palace boss Roy Hodgson on sidelined star

BY ANDREW MCSTEEN

Roy Hodgson admitted that Crystal Palace’s 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United was further fuel to the assertion that they hugely miss Wilfried Zaha.

The Eagles have lost 15 and won just two of the 17 matches without their talismanic attacker since September 2016.

Zaha missed the 1-0 reverse to Burnley on Monday after testing positive for Covid-19 and tonight’s loss to Newcastle.

But he should be cleared tomorrow to return to action next Sunday against West Bromwich Albion.

“Once again it’s meat and drink for those people who claim we are unable to win without Wilfried Zaha because it’s yet another game, another statistic, that they can point to, another notch on the belt,” said Palace manager Hodgson following the SE25 setback to Newcastle.

“I would be very frustrated with [that] if I was one of the other outfield players to have it told to me all the time that the only way you only ever win a game is if Wilf plays, but unfortunately, we can’t deny the fact that that has been very often the case when we’ve played matches.

“We can’t deny at all that we’ve missed his quality in these last two games and who knows, maybe, had he played, we would have done a little better.

“But he didn’t play, and he wasn’t able to play. Somewhere along the line we’re going to have to learn to accept that he isn’t going to be able to play every game or get us out of a hole every game by showing the ability that he obviously has.”


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