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Crystal Palace boss Hodgson 'very pleased' Stones back at his best with Man City

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson is delighted seeing John Stones reviving his form at Manchester City.

The 26-year-old lines up against Hodgson's Palace on Sunday at the heart of City's defence alongside Ruben Dias.

Hodgson handed Stones his England debut in 2014, two years before he had left Everton for City, and said: "I'm very pleased for him. I always believed in him.

"He reads the game well, he's a good athlete, good in the air. He always had composure and ability on the ball, which wasn't always so prevalent as it is today. We expect it much more today than we did then.

"I always thought he would have a good career, John. In the last year or two, he has suffered in particular from injuries. That has obviously held him back.

"Before that, because of his quality on the ball and because he's courageous and because he dared to play out from the back, and sometimes a pass would be intercepted which would lead to a goal, and that got him vilified on one or two occasions.

"Pep's obviously stayed with him very much in that respect. He wants the quality that John's got on the ball. He wants that confidence.

"He wants him able to step into midfield with the ball and find passes. And I'm sure he forgives him if one or two go astray."

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Paul Vegas

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