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Hodgson Prays for Early Benteke Boost


Roy Hodgson says Crystal Palace's activity in the January transfer window will depend on how Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham fare once they return from injury.
Palace have the joint-worst goalscoring record in the Premier League this season, having scored eight goals in 13 games, the same as Huddersfield.

It has resulted in an eight-game winless run, leaving them one point above the relegation zone, though that has included draws against Arsenal and most recently Manchester United.
Hodgson is aware his side must improve in front of goal, and while Wickham is in contention to face Burnley on Saturday, the Palace boss said he is hopeful Benteke will return from a knee injury in a few weeks.
"[The January transfer window] will depend an awful lot on what happens with players returning from injury," Hodgson said. "Wickham, if he continues like he's doing, will be an option. Benteke we don't think is months away, more a question of weeks.
"It could be that we have a lot more options up front than we've had. But Jordan Ayew hasn't played badly at all. He's played well in the games, and Alex Sorloth is coming back into form.
"At least this year there are bodies and there are people who are competing for those places. This time last year, when we were desperate to do something in the January transfer window, we really had an enormous shortage.

"That's no longer the case. It's important for those guys at the front of our attack, and the ones that will be getting the chances, it's important that they do start to convert those chances into goals.

"The facts are there starkly in front of us. Those facts tell me we haven't scored enough goals. I believe that's not because we aren't creating any chances, it's because we haven't been as good in front of goal as we would have liked."
Palace's last league victory came at Huddersfield on September 15, but Hodgson says he has still been pleased with his side's performances.
"The actual performances have been perfectly satisfactory. We've played some good football, in all of the games recently - despite playing against top-class opposition - we've been in the game.
"We've had our chances to win the games. I don't like talking about not getting what you deserve, because that has no part to play in football, you get what you get.
"What you do hope is that if you give good performances, then you will win some. We do need points, like a lot of teams around us at the bottom, because it's very tight and the relegation zone is threatening quite a few of us."

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