Out of form
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has spoken about struggling forward Christian Benteke, and noted that his constant missing of chances is causing his self confidence to plummet.
He added that the forward is a quality player and will not let his head go down in games – and that centre forwards are meant to score goals – and that’s the hardest part for the player who is being judged on the chances he fails to convert.
Hodgson noted that while other people might drop Benteke, he is not doing the same, and there are other qualities he provides for the team.
“Of course, we do regret those two [missed] chances,” he said.
“But I thought once again his all-round performance was very good. Extremely good, both in terms of his work rate and discipline, as well as his ability to bring players into the game.
“He was responsible for the flick-on for the penalty that put us into the lead, so his performance was very good in fact, up until the two missed chances, which obviously affected him.
“I didn’t think his work after that was quite as good as it had been, because he’s a human being.
“He so desperately wants to score, and so desperately wants to do well. He’s working so hard to be the type of centre forward we want him to be.
“But you could see, missing those chances that came his way did have a mental effect on him.
“Of course when you’re a centre forward and haven’t scored for a while and miss chances, that’s all people want to judge you by.
“I have to make certain that I judge him on different values because he is the centre forward that we have and is trying hard to do the right things.
“He’s getting himself into goalscoring positions, but I have to encourage him as much as I can to keep getting in those, and trust him because he is a good technician and the goal chances that come his way will be taken.”
Palace are battling against relegation, and while the loss to Hodgson’s former team Liverpool was a blow, their next three games will have far more of an effect on their chances of Premier League survival – playing teams in and around them – and Benteke will have a chance to impact the season in the right way.