Roy Hodgson defends Jordan Ayew from critics

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Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson says the criticism of Jordan Ayew will not help the striker regain confidence as he seeks to recapture his glory days.

The Ghanaian is on loan from Swansea City and life at Selhurst Park has not been easy for him as he has struggled through the first half of the campaign without scoring for the club.

He joined The Eagles in the summer and he netted his first goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers on January 2 before scoring a second against Grimsby Town three days later.

“They read a lot, don’t they, the players. They follow social media, so anyone out there who thinks I will enjoy myself today by criticising this person, they read it and take it to heart. It is an interesting world we live in.

“He [Ayew] has worked unbelievably hard and he has done a good job for us in games, there is no question of that.

“But unfortunately to get universal recognition for your efforts, you need to do something concrete, which as a forward is scoring goals, or assisting goals.

“In that area, he has not been able to do it, so it was great the other night for him to get a goal to show for it, because not only did he play well and work incredibly well for the team, he actually got a goal as well, so it was a perfect evening.”

“He [Ayew] is a very serious professional and is very serious about his football and he really wants to do well,” Hodgson continued.

“We, as the coaching staff, have tried to encourage him as much as possible, and we try to shield him from outside criticism, and make it clear that we know he is working hard and doing the right things, and doing a job for the team.

“But for him, he wants pats on the back from everyone and it will only come when the goals come, or the assists come, that is a fact of life.

“It doesn’t matter how much you try as a coach to encourage and protect them and be positive towards them, the simple fact of life is that until they can see the tangible rewards for their efforts and the recognition for it, they are just words,” Hodgson said.

Ayew will hope to add to his goal tally when The Eagles play Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.