Allardyce: Referees should protect Zaha

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce has called on referees to protect Wilfried Zaha more to allow him to show off his skills.

Allardyce's comments came after his side were hammered 5-0 at Manchester City on Saturday, in a game where Zaha was heavily fouled four times.

The Eagles boss believes opposition players target the 24-year-old with fouls to prevent him from playing his natural game.

"Often those fouls are ignored and they frustrate Wilfried and then he loses control sometimes, which is a part of our job to make sure he gets more determined," said Allardyce, according to the Evening Standard.

"One, to prove the referee wrong, and two, to weaken the opposition's defence by continuing to play as well as he's playing.

"When they're fouling him as constantly as they are it's because he's playing well. And when he plays well he attracts attention, and when he attracts that attention, even with two men marking him, they can't stop him. And the only way they can stop him is fouling him.

"You can tug somebody and get booked straight away, but you persistently foul somebody and the referee continues to let that go. For me, Wilfried needs more protection, so he can show his abilities more."

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