Roy Hodgson hopes Wilfried Zaha does not face fan backlash as Crystal Palace star prepares to face transfer suitors Everton

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ROY HODGSON has told Wilfried Zaha he must take his medicine if he faces a fan backlash today.

The Crystal Palace forward, 26, handed in a transfer request to force through a move to Everton, but the deal never came off.

Roy Hodgson suspects Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha will face the fury of fans this weekend
PA:Press Association

Roy Hodgson suspects Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha will face the fury of fans this weekend[/caption]

Zaha was left disappointed as the two clubs failed to agree a deal – and is now in line to start against the side that tried to buy him.

How Eagles supporters react to their fallen hero will be intriguing and boss Hodgson is not sure they will be kind.

Hodgson, who turned 72 yesterday, said: “You can’t control fans’ reactions. Fans will react in the way they feel they should react.

“Of course I hope they won’t get on Wilf’s back.

“I hope they’ll be sympathetic to him and will help him produce more good performances for the team.

“But whatever happens, Wilf will have to deal with that, just as he has had to deal with his disappointment over the last few days.

TOTAL TRUST

“I trust him totally. This is a disappointment he knows he has to get over. I’m expecting him to be able to do those things.

“But it would be nice if our fans can draw a line under it and give him the support he needs to produce the performances I as a manager and we as a team really need from him.”

Zaha trained as normal yesterday, having only returned on Monday from extra time off following the Africa Cup of Nations.

That was in contrast to Thursday when he was allowed home by Hodgson amid talk of the deadline-day switch.

Hodgson has had to deal with similar situations before, citing the example of Javier Mascherano in 2010 during his brief spell at Liverpool.


He added: “He went on strike and it didn’t do us any good at all. We had very strong Liverpool players at the time, not least Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, and for them that was an ultimate crime, to refuse to play for Liverpool.”

Hodgson was boosted yesterday when inspirational skipper Luka Milivojevic, 28, signed a new four-year deal.

Chairman Steve Parish said: “Luka has been a fantastic player and leader for the club for 2½ years. His contribution really has been immense.”

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