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European Qualifiers Group E

Hodgson offers Zaha backing

England boss Roy Hodgson has predicted a bright future for Wilfried Zaha for club and country.

Last Updated: 26/05/13 at 09:29 Post Comment

Wilfried Zaha: Tipped for a bright future for club and country

Wilfried Zaha: Tipped for a bright future for club and country

Hodgson handed Zaha his first full cap during the November friendly in Sweden, Zaha then became what turned out to be Sir Alex Ferguson's last signing for Manchester United prior to his retirement.

By loaning Zaha back to Palace immediately, Ferguson ensured his development continued, leading to a place in Stuart Pearce's Under-21 squad for this summer's European Championships in Israel.

And on Monday Zaha will feature in the biggest game of his life as Palace take on Watford in a £120million scrap for the final place in next season's Premier League.

So, whilst Hodgson accepts Zaha must take the opportunities ahead of him if he is to fulfil his promise, he feels the signs are encouraging.

"I like Wilfried Zaha," said Hodgson. "I think he is a good player.

"I went to Palace not so long back to have a look at him and of course he has a massive move to Manchester United.

"It seems to me he is on the threshold of something big."

Hodgson is confident Zaha will get his chance to establish himself at United next season despite the fierce competition for places at Old Trafford.

"He will be given the opportunity," said Hodgson.

"When a club like Manchester United is prepared to pay a lot of money for a player because they will help them to win things it is a tremendous boost to both confidence and ego.

"As coaches we can't do any more. After you have lit the touchpaper, all we can do is retire and hope they buzz."

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f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

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