Roy Hodgson praises ‘game-changer’ Wilfried Zaha for starring role in Crystal Palace's win over Fulham

Hodgson was brimming with positivity about another brilliant Zaha display

Ed Malyon
Craven Cottage
Saturday 11 August 2018 18:12
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Wilfried Zaha was superb in the 2-0 win over Fulham
Wilfried Zaha was superb in the 2-0 win over Fulham

Roy Hodgson has praised “game-changer” Wilfried Zaha after the Ivorian’s goal sealed an opening-day victory away at Fulham.

The former England manager saw his side start the season in the best possible way with a 2-0 win at Craven Cottage thanks to a first-half strike from Jeffrey Schlupp and then a breakaway which Zaha converted to kill the game late on.

And Hodgson was brimming with positivity about another brilliant Zaha display in which he shrugged off the niggly fouling of the Fulham players to play a decisive role in the game and remind the world why he is the face of this team.

“Many teams have a player of that type, a player who is a talisman and a player upon whom the team depends on,” Hodgson said.

Roy Hodgson was delighted with Wilfried Zaha

“Pep [Guardiola], [Mauricio] Pochettino and Jose [Mourinho] have to answer the same question about their Kanes, De Bruynes and Hazards.

“We are lucky to have a game-changer like they have.”

Zaha was linked with a move away from the south Londoners as Chelsea and Tottenham loomed, but chairman Steve Parish held on to his star man and Hodgson remains delighted that the player decided to stay.

“We had no interest in selling Wilfried. We want him at the club as many years as we can have him. He's a south Londoner, a Crystal Palace player and he knows we really appreciate what he can do for us.”

Zaha, for his part, was delighted to have played a key role after the team had kept its shape and composure after Fulham made the brighter start:

"It was a difficult game but we stuck by our game plan. We knew we couldn't get impatient, and just had to stay in our shape and take our chances in possession. We are just taking every game as it comes, the main thing is taking our chances because we have pace in our team and we can counter on sides."

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