Roy Hodgson praised Wilfried Zaha’s attitude after the Crystal Palace star came off the bench in today’s 0-0 draw with Everton at Selhurst Park.

The Eagles winger was strongly linked with a switch to Goodison Park in the run-up to Thursday’s transfer deadline, although the Eagles stood firm and ensured their star man was going nowhere.

Zaha was among the substitutes and any fears of a hostile reception from the stands were quickly dispelled as rapturous applause greeted his 65th minute introduction for Jordan Ayew.

Hodgson said: “He handled it very well I thought. The crowd helped didn’t it?

“The crowd gave him such a great reception and it was nice to have him available obviously to give us another dimension for our play.

“I thought the two front players who started the game did an exceptional job.

“But Jordan (Ayew) was tiring, as was Christian (Benteke), so it was good to have Wilf to come on for Jordan and Connor Wickham to come on for Christian Benteke and maybe keep that bit of momentum we had going in that latter part of the game.

“It was never going be easy to break down their defence but I thought we gave it a good shot.

“His attitude today was excellent. The fact is that situation has been and gone and Wilf I’m sure now will make certain he brings his straw to the water and helps us have a good season, just like he has done in the past two seasons.”

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It was the Toffees who began brightly and they should have been ahead in the second minute, only for Gylfi Sigurdsson to fire wide after being picked out by Lucas Digne.

Christian Benteke came to Palace’s rescue by heading Richarlison’s 14th minute effort off the line.

Vincente Guaita produced a superb save on the half hour to deny Seamus Coleman moments before Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed off target.

The home side’s best chance came five minutes before the break as Max Meyer took a couple of touches inside the box before seeing his shot deflected behind.

It signalled the start of several Palace corners, from one of which Scott Dann almost headed them in front.

Patrick van Aanholt was ideally placed to scramble away Sigurdsson’s shot off the line early in the second half.

England keeper Jordan Pickford twice used his leg in quick succession to deny Jordan Ayew and then Meyer as the Eagles successfully sprung the visiting offside trap.

Guaita got down low to deal with Sigurdsson’s strike from outside of the box but the biggest cheer of the day came when Zaha replaced Ayew.

Richarlison placed a curling shot agonisingly inches wide with Guaita beaten, while Digne made a vital interception to prevent Benteke converting van Aanholt’s inviting low delivery.

Everton were reduced to 10-men in the 76th minute after Morgan Schneiderlin picked up his second yellow card of the game for going in late on Luka Milivojevic.

Zaha created a bit of panic in the Toffees’ box late on, although Palace never really looked like making their numerical advantage count as the game petered out into a scoreless draw.

Hodgson was happy with a point in the end considering he was without the services of more than half of his ideal starting XI.

The Eagles boss explained: “The team really that played the bulk of the matches for us last year – towards the end Scott Dann and Martin Kelly had to come into the team because of injuries to James Tomkins and Aaron Wan-Bissaka – was the team that basically played 32 or 33 of the games.

“We were missing seven of those players today and that’s asking a lot. You have to step up.

“Luckily for me those players I’m referring to will be getting fit again and I’m looking forward to having all those players back in the squad.

“In particular I’m looking forward to making certain the guys who came back from the African Nations Cup (are fit).

“Cheikhou (Kouyate) came to us on Thursday and did his first training session having not done any training before that.

“Then we’ve got the new guys as well Gary Cahill, James McCarthy and Victor Camarasa, so I’m feeling much more comfortable now going forward there is a squad and group of players that has options.

“If we show the same determination, fight and guts that we did through the whole of the game today that will stand us in good stead.

“I’m going to put this down as a proper Crystal Palace performance where maybe on paper the odds were stacked against us.

“But we didn’t allow the odds to damage our chances of getting a result from the game.”