BY SAM SMITH
Roy Hodgson believes goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was “judged unfairly” during the early stages of his career at Crystal Palace.
The Wales international was dropped after Hodgson’s first three games and replaced by Julian Speroni. The Argentine subsequently helped the Eagles to their first victory of last season against Chelsea and featured until injury kept him out in November.
The pair were then rotated but Hennessey won his place back for the New Year’s Eve draw with Manchester City and has been almost ever-present since. Hodgson is delighted to have two goalkeepers whom he describes as “top quality” having also signed Vicente Guaita from Getafe.
Hodgson said: “He started poorly, unfortunately, when I took over. That was unfortunate for him too because the team wasn’t doing that great either and he got judged a little bit unfairly.
“But the bulk of last season, and particularly towards the end, he showed what a top-quality goalkeeper he is. At Christmas when we negotiated the signing of Vicente, he [Hennessey] wasn’t in the best of shape but from the new year towards the end of last season he was very good.
“He has also started this season very well so now I have the two of them, both of whom I think are top quality Premier League goalkeepers fighting for a place. At the moment Wayne is holding off the challenge.”