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Hennessey backed by boss to be a Euro hit


Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey

Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey

Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey

Wayne Hennessey's preparations for Euro 2016 have been strengthened by Alan Pardew revealing he now considers the Welshman to be Crystal Palace's first-choice goalkeeper.

Hennessey, who is expected to play each of Wales' Group B fixtures against Slovakia, England and Russia in France, began the season as a substitute behind Alex McCarthy.

McCarthy's chance came after an injury to the long-serving Julian Speroni, who has been at the club since 2004, effectively making Hennessey appear to be Pardew's third-choice, but an injury to McCarthy presented the Welshman with a run in the first team during which he has consistently impressed.

In the final stages of Palace's 1-0 Premier League defeat of Southampton - courtesy of a Yohan Cabaye goal - on Saturday, Hennessey produced an exceptional save when Shane Long was through on goal, having previously kept the score at 0-0 when tipping over Steven Davis' close-range header.

His memorable performance followed another at Everton in which he also impressed Pardew, who had previously made no secret of his satisfaction at having such strength in depth among his goalkeepers, and who said: "The other two (McCarthy and Speroni) have been fit for a while.

"So (Hennessey's) cemented his position with a couple of great performances this week. He's very focused on the Euros at the end of the season for Wales, it's a terrific week for him."

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