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Hodgson expects big things from Zaha

England manager Roy Hodgson believes Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha is "on the threshold of something big".

Zaha, 20, will play for Palace in Monday's Championship play-off final before making the move to Manchester United.

The winger is also part of Stuart Pearce's England Under-21 squad for next month's European Championship in Israel, and Hodgson believes he is capable of making a major impact.

"I like Wilfried Zaha," said Hodgson, who handed the player his first senior England cap in November's friendly with Sweden. "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."

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Hodgson is confident Zaha will be given the chance to shine at Old Trafford despite the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, who sanctioned the signing.

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

Zaha, who scored both Palace's goals in the 2-0 play-off semi-final success against Brighton, will be looking to sign off by helping the club to victory over Watford at Wembley.

However, Palace defender Mile Jedinak insists the Eagles will only reach the Premier League if they perform as a team.

"Wilf has got all the plaudits and rightly so," Jedinak said. "He's had a great season and he had a great game against Brighton, but he knows, as we all do, that we can only achieve what we want to achieve as a team and we're all pushing towards the same goal.

"There is a big wall in the way called Watford and we are expecting a very tough game. We are going to have to earn it on the day.

"We have some great characters in the dressing room and in the team - they've been a real joy to work with. The success we have shared so far has held this group together but we have a job on our hands to get to where we want to be."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report


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