Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

I have no doubts over Zaha's honesty, maintains Hodgson

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has insisted Wilfried Zaha's integrity cannot be questioned and said players with his ability are "worth their weight in gold".

Zaha was forced to defend himself after receiving a yellow card for diving in last Saturday's goalless draw at Watford.

He received a fourth yellow card for simulation since the start of the 2015/16 season - more than any other player in that time period - as his penalty appeal was turned down.

Hodgson says the Ivory Coast international is the sort of player who is scrutinised for his willingness to run at, and invite challenges from, opponents, something the Eagles boss says should be praised, not criticised.

"I have no doubts in my own mind about him as a player and his honesty and desire to score goals and play the game properly," said Hodgson, whose men face Leicester tomorrow.

"He's a great runner with the ball, he's very brave, he takes people on and he goes into areas where there are bodies and it hurts players to go in.

"As a result those players, unfortunately, are always the ones who get accused of cheating because they get fouled and people want to discuss, 'Was it a foul or was it not a foul?'."

Hodgson pointed to similar criticism of Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Dele Alli of Tottenham.

"Players with that level of dribbling ability and that bravery are worth their weight in gold," he added.

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph