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Zaha Thrilled With Pardew Impact

11 January 2015

Wilfried Zaha heaped praise on Alan Pardew for giving him confidence before being thrown on as a second half substitute against Tottenham and the winger made a huge impression in the 2-1 win.

Zaha came on just after Dwight Gayle had equalised for Palace from the penalty spot, and he then set up the winner for Jason Puncheon with 10 minutes remaining to clinch a vital win for the Eagles.

The winger revealed that the new manager had given him a pep-talk before he took to the field, and is thoroughly impressed with his start to life in SE25.

He said: “I think the gaffer has brought a high around the team again. I’d heard a couple of good things about him before he came in and he’s brought something different which will help us move forwards. 

“He told us he wants to add a threat going forward and gave us set positions and tasks to do, like catch them on the break, and that’s what happened.

“Even though I wasn’t starting I couldn’t let my head go down, I just knew that if I came on I had to make an impression for the gaffer and I did that so I’m buzzing. He told me to go on and take on players so I never had any fear coming onto the pitch, I just knew I had to do one piece of magic and give us a chance and I’m glad I did that.

“I came on when the game was open which gave me a chance to get at them and try and get a goal or two. I was unlucky in that respect today but hopefully on another day I will.”

Despite the fantastic victory against an in-form Spurs side, thoughts have immediately turned to next week’s crunch game against Burnley and Zaha feels that having won their first win in nine, his 
side will be full of confidence heading to Turf Moor, backed by more fantastic support.

“We just have to play with no fear because we’re around the bottom half of the table and we’ve got nothing to lose so we had to go at them. Beating a team like Tottenham makes it even better. There’s always pressure in the Premier League but you have to deliver and we did that today.

“The Selhurst crowd is unbelievable and when they’re buzzing you just want to play for longer and I’m glad we managed to give back to them today.”

Meanwhile Gayle was happy to put his side level midway through the second half, and felt his side got what they deserved from the contest.

"The first 15 minutes we weren't at it to be fair but after that we grew into the game and I felt we deserved the win in the end,” he said.

“I didn’t really see the penalty but all the boys thought it was a penalty, so luckily it was given and I stuck it away. Then Punch got the winner and we got the three points which was important.

“He [Pardew] had a lot of positive things to say about the team after the game but the important thing now is that we continue things away at Burnley next week and we have to kick on from here.”

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