Roy Hodgson praises maturing Zaha after winger salvages point against Brighton

Wilfried Zaha celebrates his equaliser. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Wilfried Zaha celebrates his equaliser. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has praised star man Wilfried Zaha for his improving the mental side of his game after the winger’s goal secured a point against bitter rivals Brighton.

With the team trailing, and playing poorly following Neal Maupay’s fine strike for the visitors at the start of the second half, Zaha fired home a stunning strike to seal a 1-1 draw.

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Speaking to the BBC afterwards, his manager expressed his joy that Zaha was able to stay focused a get his reward.

“Wilf is doing extremely well mentally because things happen in the game,” Hodgson said “Taunts form the crowd and little fouls off the ball - which he isn't allowing to upset him as he might have done before.”

Hodgson also applauded Zaha for his determination to improve his overall game and continued to stress the player’s importance to Palace.

“I think it's Wilf's third goal in four games,” he added. “It's something he's worked on and he's shooting an awful lot more than he used to now in training.

“When you have a player like Wilf and a team with guts and determination you always have a chance.”

Palace find themselves in 9th place after seventeen games after salvaging a draw from a match in which they were second best for long periods.

Hodgson, taking charge of his 100th game for the club, was pleased to see his team show enough fight to battle back from a goal down despite being on the back foot.

"It's four games unbeaten, two wins, two draws, but there's not been one game where we've been on easy street.

“These boys keep digging deep and standing up in situations where you could expect them to maybe lose a bit of heart or give up but they don't.”

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