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Zaha: I Need To Relax In Front Of Goal

28 January 2016

Twisting and turning his marker, Wilfried Zaha had the making of his man during last weekend’s game and the winger was the creator of Palace’s only goal with a low cross that forced Spurs’ Vertonghen to put the ball into the back of his own net. 

However, for all his pace and skill, Zaha holds his hands up when talking about the one aspect of his game he says he knows needs improving.

“Goal scoring is something I am working on, I need to sort it out myself, it’s all me. In training I finish things really easy, but then in games you’ve got all the adrenaline rushing through you, the crowd is making so much noise, and as soon as you get near the goal you think you’ve scored. Once I’m past a player I need to relax and focus on striking the ball properly, and once I start doing that I think I’ll score a lot more goals.”

Under Palace manager Alan Pardew, Zaha has developed physical and mental playing attributes which had previously gone untapped - most notable is his attitude in taking his defensive responsibilities as seriously as his offensive.   

“Working for team is something I’m doing a lot more of since the gaffer came here. Obviously we’re all individuals but if we work together as a team we get more done, so I’ve been trying to work on tracking back as well as going forward. The gaffer has allowed me to express myself and still be able to do tricks and whatever I do, but has explained to me how important the defensive side is too. I think what’s really changed for me is he’s shown me I can do what I do going forward but filling in for the team will make a massive difference because me stopping a cross coming into our box can save us three points.”

The arrival this week of Emmanuel Adebayor is a welcome addition to the club, and the Eagles will be hoping another attacking option will bring about a change in results. Speaking about his first impressions of the Togolese international, Zaha says he's confident the forward will make his mark at the club.

“Whatever people say about him being a risk, everyone deserves a chance and he seems like he wants to help the team out so it doesn't matter what he did before. He’s been training this week and you can see his quality when he touches the ball and the difference that’s going to make to the team. He brings a lot of experience and I’m just looking forward to playing with him and feeding balls for him to score. I can learn a lot from him in terms of the crosses he wants me to play and areas I can work on to make me a better player.”

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