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Friday 27 April 2018

Benteke: I'll fight for Palace place

Palace’s Christian Benteke
Palace’s Christian Benteke

Christian Benteke has vowed to fight for his place at Crystal Palace.

The Belgium frontman netted only his second goal of the season in a 1-1 draw at West Ham on Tuesday night.

But rather than fearing for his place should Eagles manager Roy Hodgson bring in a new striker, Benteke insists he would welcome some company up front.  "I think it's fair," said Benteke.

"I am ready to fight for my place, and hopefully if they can bring another quality player in - it will be more than welcome.

"Have I missed playing with another striker? I felt I was lonely.

"But last season it was the same and I managed to score goals and we managed to be where we were. So it's not really an excuse."

Benteke's second goal in 19 appearances arrived when he thumped in a header from Andros Townsend's cross midway through the first half.  "It feels good because the last few weeks have felt more like frustration," he added.

"I felt I was close to scoring, but to be fair we got some great results.

"I wasn't just focused about myself, but I was just saying to myself to keep going and that I would score. That's what happened."

West Ham equalised through a Mark Noble penalty, his 50th goal for the club, after James Tomkins tripped Javier Hernandez. Joao Mario enjoyed a promising full debut for the Hammers, the on-loan Inter Milan midfielder playing just behind Hernandez.

He said: "It was a good game for the team. It's an important point and there are still a lot of matches left.

"The Premier League is really difficult, it was my first game but I feel great because all my team-mates helped me a lot. I just need to work hard to give my best performances."

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