Hodgson welcomes Zaha's desire for early return

Hodgson welcomes Zaha's desire for early return

Hodgson welcomes Zaha's desire for early return

Press Association

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson revealed that matchwinner Wilfried Zaha had resisted doctors returning so soon after the injury and sealed a 1-0 victory at Huddersfield.

Zaha scored with a brilliant solo effort following a groin injury just before half-time, which had kept him much faster than expected from home defeat to Southampton.

"It was a wonderful goal, was not it?" Hodgson said after the Eagles secured their first Premier League victory since Matchday 1.

Roy Hodgson, left, sang the praise of Wilfried Zaha (Mike Egerton / PA)

Roy Hodgson, left, sang the praise of Wilfried Zaha (Mike Egerton / PA)

Roy Hodgson, left, sang the praise of Wilfried Zaha (Mike Egerton / PA)

"It was a really good goal, he was always lively, Wilf, I thought, and he deserves tremendous recognition, because the groin injury he picked up could have kept him up much longer.

"It would have kept many players out longer, that's for sure, but he's so determined to play, so anxious to get back on the field that doctors and physiotherapists can not hold him back."

Zaha underscored his importance for Palace in the 38th minute as he struck in from the left wing and beat two defenders to score an unstoppable shot in Jonas Lossl's left post.

Palace spent most of the second half of the second leg when Huddersfield equalized, but with Zaha in the mood, the visitors remained dangerous in the counterattack.

"Of course I was concerned throughout the game," added Hodgson. "Had we got the lead of a second goal – and I thought we would be close on some occasions – I (Zaha) would have replaced.

"In 1-0 with Huddersfield, as you would expect, they push for equalizer, send people forward, get their crosses in, which they do well, dangerously of course from the long throws and corners I did not want to take him from the field.

"If we ever get the ball off after one of those situations, he was the one who looked like he was leaving the net and shooting a second goal."

Huddersfield built a neck-and-neck race in the second half and provided several chances, but had to pay for the missing killer touch in the final third.

The Terriers have yet to celebrate their first Premier League victory after five games, while they have not made it in their last five home games, three of them this season.

But terrier manager David Wagner was of the opinion that the view of his team was at least justified.

"That's the truth and maybe this could be one of the headlines after this game," he said.

"In general, in this football business we are long enough that sometimes we know that you do not get what you deserve, and today players certainly deserve something.

"That was the best performance of the season, defensively solid, they took control and offensively they created chances to put the ball in the box.

"But we have to hit the target from 18 yards when we have a free kick and then we have that one moment from Wilf Zaha, where he showed all his qualities."

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