Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has asked Wilfried Zaha to continue running at oppositions’ defences, regardless of the harsh treatment he might be subjected to.
The Eagles face Watford in a bid to claim another victory which would ease their relegation fears, and with prospects of his star winger facing a tense atmosphere at the Vicarage Road, the tactician has urged him not to deviate from the norm.
“We want Wilf to have the ball, to do what he’s good at doing – beating players and running towards the opponents’ goal,” Hodgson told BT Sport.
“If that means the opponents foul him then he’s fairly used to that. We’ll have to accept that the referee will then need to take any necessary measures if he thinks the fouls are going behind the pale.
“The players who run with the ball and who are so good at running with the ball with such quick feet as Wilf has, I’m afraid are going to be the ones that draw the fouls. I know he gets fouled a lot, because when we play the ball to him he holds onto it and beats people.
“I’m not particularly aware that teams are targeting him to foul him, and if they are, one has to rely upon the referee to do something about that. There’s nothing we as coaches can do about that.”
Zaha whose brace helped Palace to a 3-2 defeat over archrivals Brighton and Hove Albion last week will be eyeing another positive performance against Watford on Saturday.