Hodgson urges Beneteke to improve, with Ayew & Co. now options

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The Eagles boss wants the Belgian striker to improve on his performance while eyeing other options for the position

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has urged striker Christian Benteke to improve his goalscoring ratio in the Premier League while hinting at the possibility of using Ghanaian Jordan Ayew and Co. for that role.

Benteke, who usually partners Wilfred Zaha, scored only three goals last season from 36 appearances and is yet to find the back of the net this season.

He is currently under pressure to improve following the arrival of Ayew on loan from Swansea City and Alexander Sorlorth from FC Midtjylland, with Connor Wickham nearing full fitness.

"Of course the moment may well come when we think, 'Better do something about this'," Hodgson told Sky Sports.

"And, as we get players back fit like Wilfred Zaha, Jordan Ayew and (James) Tomkins, the options will become greater.

​“It depends what your options are, doesn’t it? We still consider Benteke to be our best option in that position. Had we had other options, maybe we might have considered those too," he said.

He added: “All the time he is working as hard as he is and trying as hard, it might not be the right moment (to drop him).

“We encourage him as best we can. We encourage him to concentrate hard on the things he can do. We encourage him to realise that it is not just about scoring goals. There are other things he needs to do to make us a successful team and get us points. We do all the things any sensible manager and coaching staff would do.

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“If he goes away with Belgium (during the international football break), maybe gets a chance to play in one of the games, scores a couple."

Ayew was handed his debut game last weekend in the 2-0 defeat to Southampton after Zaha picked up a groin injury at training. He will likely to retain his place against Huddersfeild after the international break if the Ivorian fails to recover.

 

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