Zaha is finally placing his body on the line for Crystal Palace – Hodgson

The Ivory Coast international has surpassed his goal tally for last season with crucial efforts for the Eagles so far in this campaign

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has backed Wilfried Zaha to continue his goalscoring run ahead of their trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday.

The 27-year-old has had a fine start to the 2020-21 Premier League season with five goals to his name after six appearances.

Last Saturday against Fulham, he laid an assist for Jairo Riedewald to open the scoring at Craven Cottage in the eighth minute before scoring the match-winning goal in the 63rd-minute which handed them a 2-1 win.

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When asked about Zaha’s chances of maintaining his run in front of goal, Hodgson said as per Football London; “We’ve got four very good front players at the moment, so whoever plays up there alongside him, he’ll have a good foil.

“I just think Wilf is an excellent player. He’s got so many qualities, so much to give. We have good fortune that he’s started so well. His form has been good, his attitude has been excellent.

“I would think that if he can keep this up, there’s no reason why he can’t continue to score goals.

“He certainly has made a conscious effort to work harder at that aspect of his game, there’s no doubt about that.”

Hodgson is pleased with how Zaha has put himself at the centre of Crystal Palace’s attack, unlike last season when the former Manchester United forward scored four goals in 38 league games.

“You know, players of his type can often be lured into being happy making goals or setting things up and fantastic dribbles and mazy runs,” he continued.

“I think this year he’s really thinking: ‘Right, I need to be a bit more, I need to get amongst the goals myself, I need to start shooting more’.

“But his goal in particular against Fulham, the second goal really gave me enormous pleasure.

“Because that’s something that we haven’t always been able to get from him. You know, throwing yourself in on a cross along the six yard box and getting injured in the process. That, for me, was a real goalscorer’s goal, and I’m certain that Wilf will be as proud of that goal as I am.”

Crystal Palace are eighth in the Premier League table, level on 10 points with Friday’s hosts Wolverhampton Wanderers who are placed ninth.

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