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Roy Hodgson urges Crystal Palace owners to buy players in January after draw against Brighton

Zaha to the rescue at Selhurst Park as an injury crisis threatens to derail the club's season

Roy Hodgson said he is "counting on" Wilfried Zaha and insisted Crystal Palace are not under pressure to sell his best player. Getty Images
Roy Hodgson said he is "counting on" Wilfried Zaha and insisted Crystal Palace are not under pressure to sell his best player. Getty Images

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has urged the club's owners to release funds to sign new players during next month's transfer window after his side earned a point against Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday night.

Wilfried Zaha's 76th-minute equaliser cancelled out Neal Maupay's 54th-minute opener in a game at Selhurst Park that Brighton largely dominated.

The draw, which ensured Palace moved above Arsenal into ninth in the Premier League table, was achieved without six first-team players while their injury crisis worsened after third-choice left-back Jairo Riedewald came off before half-time.

It has forced Hodgson to publicly ask the Palace board to provide money to spend on new recruits.

"You know what we are in the transfer market, we don’t really go into it," he said. "But I’m trying to persuade the American owners that is something we really need to do."

In the summer, Palace spent just £11 million (Dh53.7m) on midfielder James McCarthy and forward Andre Ayew, while defender Gary Cahill was signed on a free transfer, with Victor Camarasa and Stephen Henderson arriving on loan. At the same time, the club earned £50m from the sale of right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United.

"I thought we needed to do it in this summer but we didn’t succeed in getting the players we needed to improve our squad. Nothing has changed. It’s still the same areas that need to be improved upon," Hodgson said.

"I’m just hoping between us and the American owners we’ll find a way to release some money. I don’t think we’re going to be able to bring in the quality needed on free transfers or loans."

Reflecting on the game against Brighton, Hodgson paid tribute to Zaha and admitted Palace are reliant on the Ivorian forward's presence in the team, particularly as the injury-list grows.

"If we lose [Zaha] that exacerbates the problems even further," he said. "My only solace with Wilf is he has a three-and-a-half year contract and the club is in no desperate need to sell him.

"As far as I'm concerned, I'm counting on Wilf and delighted to be working with him. One can never say what is going to happen but with the transfer window we have to adjust to whatever is going to come our way."

Meanwhile, Brighton manager Graham Potter was pleased with his team's performance, saying: "The performance was really, really good. You can't control a game away from home much more than that.

"We know if there is one action from a really good player you can be punished. Our job is to accumulate points but knowing the competition is really fierce. We try to improve and see where that takes us."

Updated: December 17, 2019 10:16 AM

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