Roy Hodgson sang the praises of striker Bobby Zamora, after he finally ended his long barren streak in a 2-0 win over struggling West Brom.
Zamora had played more than 29 hours of Barclays Premier League football since his last goal, his only other top-flight strike of the season, but crashed home the opener from a yard before helping to tee up Andy Johnson for the second on Sunday.
His place has been under threat of late, Erik Nevland pushing hard from the bench, but Hodgson kept faith, and said: "Bobby's bound to be relieved. I would prefer to judge front players on what they do for the team and not make it as simple as 'if you score eight goals you're a good one and if you score two you're a bad one'."
He added: "If Zamora scored eight or nine this season and we were lying in the bottom three I would get no satisfaction at all.
"I'd much rather be looking at the table and having us in eighth place with him scoring two goals.
"He's kept at things well, formed a partnership with (Andy) Johnson - and that's been very important for us. But I take the point that as a front player you want to score goals - and you'll always have it thrown at you if that's not happening."
The former West Ham and Tottenham man appeared rejuvenated after his goal, lashing just over two minutes later and then seeing his powerful shot beaten away by Scott Carson to set up Johnson.
"It was quite interesting that after he scored he had two more great strikes, one of which led to the second goal. It's pretty obvious a weight has been lifted from his mind," said Hodgson.
"As for me, I suppose I enjoy a sense of relief too - because I always believed in Zamora and Johnson and I brought them both to the club."
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