By 90Min
September 02, 2018

Roy Hodgson has defended Christian Benteke despite the striker wasting a number of clear chances in Crystal Palace's 2-0 defeat to Southampton.

Second half goals from Danny Ings and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg secured the win for the Saints in game that could've seen more goals, as both sides hit the woodwork and Charlie Austin had his penalty saved just minutes after coming on as a substitute. 

Benteke was guilty of passing up a number of opportunities in the game, extending his poor run to three goals in his last 35 Premier League appearances, although Hodgson has backed the 27-year-old to regain his form. 

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"It's difficult for Benteke and it's difficult for me and the team because we want to see him scoring goals," he said, speaking post-match to Sky Sports

"Really, all we can do is keep working at it and encourage him to keep his game going but, of course, psychologically these things do matter and do have an effect on players.

Crystal Palace were without their talisman Wilfried Zaha due to injury, as the defeat to Southampton extends their winless run when the Ivorian is unavailable to 12 Premier League 

games, and Hodgson has challenged his side to stop being overly reliant on the winger. 

He added: "I don't quite know what I can do about it until such time as we play a game without Wilf and win.

"It's a fact. Again he didn't play and again we didn't win. It's a pure fact that we have to learn to live with. There will be games where Wilf doesn't play and I would like to think that the squad that we have is good enough to win without him."

The Eagles lie 15th in the Premier League heading into the international break, with their next league game in two week away to Huddersfield

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