Welsh goalkeeper denied making a Nazi salute at a club celebration dinner.

Hodgson happy with Hennessey explanation over gesture

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  • 2019-01-11 23:10:38 1 years ago
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Wayne Hennessey has the full backing of Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson who insists the Wales goalkeeper did not make a Nazi salute during a night out.

Hennessey appeared to perform the gesture in a picture posted on Instagram by Eagles team-mate Max Meyer as the players celebrated their FA Cup win against Grimsby on Saturday.

The 31-year-old denied doing so, instead claiming on Twitter that he was calling out to the person taking the photograph "to get on with it" and "at the same time put my hand over my mouth to make the sound carry".

The Football Association is looking into the incident, but Hodgson is convinced by the player's explanation.

"I believe him totally. I have no reason to disbelieve him," the Palace boss said.

"The other players had no awareness of anything inappropriate, so much so that they had no idea before the photo was posted that it had happened.

"Wayne has explained himself very satisfactorily to both me and the club. I know Wayne, I know the type of man he is and I have no hesitation whatsoever in backing him and backing his version of the story."

Hodgson also delivered an emphatic response to Jermain Defoe's claim that he rejected a move to Selhurst Park in favour of joining Rangers.

Palace are in the market for a striker during the January transfer window after dominating a string of recent games without scoring sufficient goals, but Hodgson insists Defoe was not on the club's radar.

"That's not true. We had no interest in Jermain Defoe. As with a number of strikers, I saw Defoe's name mentioned in relation to the club," Hodgson said.

"But it's one thing people relating players to us because they're anxious to find a move for them and it's another for our club to initiate moves to sign someone. We state categorically that we've made no move at all to sign Jermain.

"I like him, he's a good player and I'm pleased that he's gone to Rangers, but we weren't a candidate for his signature."

After struggling to dispatch 10-man Grimsby last Saturday, Palace resume their Premier League campaign against Watford at Selhurst Park.

It is the first meeting between the rivals since Troy Deeney revealed that the Hornets "took it in turns" to kick and foul Wilfried Zaha in August as part of a plan designed to contain the Eagles forward.

In the same match, Zaha was the victim of a controversial tackle by Etienne Capoue.

"At the time I made of the comments what everyone else in football made of them – Troy is a very honest guy but I don't think it was a wise thing to say," Hodgson said.

"I'm pretty certain that when I see Troy (on Saturday) – I always have a very friendly meeting with him before the game as he's the opposing captain – and ask him about the comment, I'm certain the first thing he'd say is that it was a mistake.

"With regard to the (Capoue) tackle, that was also a mistake. It was a bad tackle. It wasn't punished, in our opinion, the way it should have been. But mistakes happen. It has no bearing on the match tomorrow."

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Hodgson happy with Hennessey explanation over gesture

Crystal Palace are not a one-man team – Gracia

Watford manager Javi Gracia will not devise a special plan to stop Wilfried Zaha as he denied Crystal Palace are a one-man team.

The Hornets travel to Selhurst Park on Saturday aiming to build on an encouraging festive period where they lost only one match, a 2-1 Boxing Day defeat at home to Chelsea.

Zaha may have starred for Palace in recent times – indeed, Eden Hazard was the only player to have completed more dribbles and won more fouls in the Premier League than the Ivorian last season – but Gracia said: "We have a collective vision, and we never think about an individual plan.

"We know that Zaha is an important player for them because he has a lot of qualities, and a lot of skill, but they have very good players, more than only one.

"Zaha dribbles a lot and we know we have to be ready to control him, but Andros Townsend, Andre Ayew, and other players they have are dangerous, too. They have a strong squad."

As Gracia approaches a year in charge at Vicarage Road, the Spaniard has provided some much-needed stability , and was rewarded by the club's owners with a long-term contract before Christmas.

Watford are eighth, on course for their best-ever finish in the Premier League, and could be forgiven for having one eye on qualifying for Europe.

"I am happy, but I always want more," added Gracia. "I always want to improve.

"When we start the season, I want to be the champion, I want to be the first one. I have that vision, and that ambition. After that, we will be the best team in the competition. It's my expectation and I want to work with that mentality.

"Every game we play is a good challenge for us and is a chance for us to show what we are able to do.

"This point of view is better because at the end of the road we can see our achievement. I prefer to enjoy every day and be ambitious in every training session. We can improve in every little detail."

Gracia will take a late decision on whether to include Christian Kabasele and Andre Gray for the trip to Palace after the duo returned to training from their respective injury lay-offs on Thursday.

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Clyne never intended to upset Warnock by rejecting Cardiff for Bournemouth

Nathaniel Clyne insists his "intention wasn't to hurt anyone" after being heavily criticised by his former manager Neil Warnock for snubbing a move to Cardiff.

England defender Clyne upset Bluebirds boss Warnock last week by opting to join Bournemouth on loan from Liverpool.

Warnock, who handed the right-back his professional debut at Crystal Palace in 2008, claimed he had been "promised" Clyne by the Merseyside club, before discovering on television that he had chosen Eddie Howe's Cherries.

The 70-year-old Warnock branded Liverpool a "disgrace" and said they lacked class, while he was unhappy not to receive a phone call from the player.

"My intention wasn't to hurt anyone. It's down to footballing reasons," said Clyne as he explained his decision at a Bournemouth press conference.

"Me and Neil Warnock have a good relationship.

"I enjoyed working with him at Crystal Palace and I have a lot of respect for the man."

Warnock appeared to have softened in his attitude to the incident when he spoke at a Cardiff press conference earlier on Friday.

He said he did not blame 27-year-old Clyne for choosing the south coast over south Wales.

Clyne followed Dominic Solanke from Anfield to the Vitality Stadium last Friday and made his Cherries debut the following day in the 3-1 FA Cup loss to Brighton.

He added: "They've got great quality players here, the style of play is similar to what I play with at Liverpool.

"I'm just looking forward to the challenge and can't wait to get going."

Solanke, meanwhile, must wait for his first Bournemouth appearance after arriving with a hamstring problem which will keep him sidelined for at least a couple more weeks.

The £19million striker, who won a solitary England cap in 2017, wants to play his way back into international contention and seemed unfazed by his hefty fee.

"That would be a goal of mine but I think I've just got to focus on getting back fit and helping the team here then in the international breaks we'll see what happens," he said of his England ambitions.

Speaking about his transfer fee, the 21-year-old added: "That side is a bit more of the business side. I don't really focus too much on that, I'm just focused on playing really."

The former Chelsea player's last senior game came on the final day of last season when he scored in Liverpool's 4-0 victory over Brighton.

Asked about his fitness, he replied: "I'm hoping a few more weeks but I've got to keep speaking to the medical team and see how my rehab goes."

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