Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has explained why he has given Mamadou Sakho the captaincy in recent times, the Evening Standard reports.

The France international has donned the captain’s armband in Palace’s most recent two fixtures against Stoke and Brighton and is looking likely to retain the status when the Eagles take on West Brom this weekend.

He’s just carried on the performances since he came into the team. He made us a stronger unit in the back four. Those performances were one of the reasons I gave him the captaincy when both Puncheon and Dann weren’t available.

Sakho has been exceptional since signing permanently at Selhurst Park, contributing with some stoic defensive displays and helping Palace bounce back after a treacherous start to the campaign.

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Palace’s captain is more regularly Scott Dann. However, he has found himself benched in recent times following a pivotal error in the club’s 2-2 draw at home against Everton earlier on in what has been an encouraging month for Hodgson’s men.

I think captaincy is exaggerated sometimes but it is an honour given to people who deserve it on performances and status within the group. Puncheon and Dann are in that group.

There were other players if Mama wasn’t available who would be in that category.

Sakho is sure to be key for Palace in their bid to stay up this season, with his influence on the team now vital.

The former Liverpool man will now hope to help Palace to another important result when they take on West Brom, now managed by ex-Eagles chief Alan Pardew.