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Crystal Palace ‘expecting a lot’ from Eberechi Eze as Roy Hodgson backs winger to supply attacking spark

Jack Rosser
·2-min read
<p>Eberechi Eze has not been in such great form for Crystal Palace of late</p> (Getty Images)

Eberechi Eze has not been in such great form for Crystal Palace of late

(Getty Images)

Roy Hodgson has backed Eberechi Eze to help Crystal Palace out of their attacking slump, but says the Eagles expect far more from the midfielder now.

Eze, who signed from QPR for £19.5million last summer, made a flying start to life in the Premier League but has not been hitting the same heights of late.

The England Under-21 international has been somewhat anonymous on the ball in recent games against Brighton and Fulham, with Palace managing just two shots on target across both games.

With Wilfried Zaha close to a return, but not available to face Manchester United on Wednesday night, Hodgson has backed Eze to help Palace find their spark going forward once more.

"He started so well but now he is in the situation where it is no longer a case of everyone being delighted with every touch of the ball, we are expecting a lot from him," said Hodgson.

"The great thing is that he is so much aware of that, he is really aware of what is required and really anxious to learn.

“In the last couple of games we played him as an advanced midfielder, a No10 if you like, and it was very difficult for him to get into the game as we would have liked. I don’t even blame him for that.

"At the moment if we were going to use him in that position we’re going to need to do a lot more work on him in that position and we’re going to have to do better ourselves as a team in general, in terms of keeping the ball and getting enough of the ball to find him in those areas.

“I am still very, very happy with him. I still think he is one of the players that is going to help us get back to that attacking threat that we have always had but perhaps lost in the last three or four games.

"I've seen us play very well on the ball through the midfield area on many occasions through my time here and I think you sometimes go through a period where something doesn't quite gel for you."

After weeks of struggling with injury problems, things appear to be looking up for Hodgson. Jeffrey Schlupp and Connor Wickham could feature in the squad to face United, while the Palace manager is optimistic that Zaha could be available to face Tottenham at the weekend.

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