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March 29 2017 8.00pm

Eagles legend fires Wayne warning

February 14 2017

Wayne Hennessey

Wayne Hennessey

Crystal Palace goalkeeping legend John Burridge has told Wayne Hennessey to toughen up.

Wales international Hennessey has had many questionable performances in goal, keeping just two clean sheets this season as part of Palace's fragile defence.

Former stopper Burridge who played for the club between 1978-80 and is regarded as one of Palace's best has been critical of Hennessey.

Burridge feels Hennessey should be far more physical when coming out for the ball and that he should also be getting angry at his defenders when they make mistakes.

He told the HOL Radio Preview Show podcast: "Palace are close to my heart, I watch all their games and I don't want them to go down. But what I like to see is a goalkeeper that's got a temper.

"If Kenny Sansom made a mistake or Jimmy Cannon or Billy [Gilbert], or Paul Hinshelwood or Nico [Peter Nicholas], I was out of my box telling them they do not do stuff like that in the back third.

"I've never seen Wayne do it. I've never seen him giving people a push, like Neville Southall, Peter Shilton or I did. When a goal goes in, Wayne just picks himself up and he's got no temper.

"I'm not a Wayne basher but every time I see him he lets a goal in. You then have to get two to win and it's difficult in the Premier League to get two to win. And if it's your fault, and he keeps doing it consistently, he's got to be replaced. The first goal is very important. Wayne's got to come through it.

"You're not going to get a clean catch like Wayne tried to [for Sunderland's opening goal in the 4-0 loss]. Get your fists and punch the bloody ball and punch it out of the box and leave him [the opposing player] flat on his back with a broken rib."

Burridge, who was an ever-present in the 1978/79 promotion-winning side and kept a club record 21 clean sheets, wants Hennessey to show more authority.

He added: "I don't know the kid, but Palace are close to my heart. I look at the precarious position they are in and I'm thinking, 'You can do better'. When Terry [Venables] bought me he said, 'You're not the best goalkeeper I have ever seen. But what you have is a big mouth, a lot of authority and a lot of presence'.

"I was a perfectionist and expected everybody to be perfect in front of me and I let them know. I was a character and you have to be a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde. When you are on the field, you are deadly serious, this is the office, this is money.

"Wayne has got to get that devil on the field. He looks a very nice lad and he's such a big boy. He's got to use that authority, that size. When the team's not playing well, you're lifting them from the back."

Listen to the HOL Radio show and Preview podcast each week by heading to the Holmesdale Radio page.


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