Wilfried Zaha is hoping that a victory at Turf Moor today will send the Eagles squad into the international break in brighter spirits as Palace take on Burnley in Lancashire this afternoon.
Last week’s defeat to Liverpool was the Eagles’ third in a row since the Premier League resumed following October’s international fixtures, and Burnley now sit just a place below Palace having also taken 11 points from their opening 10 games.
They new boys have impressed the in-form Zaha, but he feels the mood around the Beckenham training ground will be lifted should three points be claimed against the Clarets today.
“Three losses on the spin is not the best so it’s a massive game for us,” he said. “We just have to go there and do what we do and hopefully that’ll be enough to get the win. They’re a good passing team but they can go from passing to direct to the striker, so they can vary their game as well which is decent.
“They’ve had some good results, such as at Manchester United where they did well. They’ve got a solid structure and they keep their shape. Going to Man United and getting a 0-0, not everyone can do that so you have to rate them when they deserve it.
"If we manage to win this game we’ll feel better about ourselves and we’ll go into [the international break] knowing we’ve managed to get the three points, because after three defeats in a row it’s not the best mood in the camp but if we manage to get this win it’ll be big for our confidence.”
Confidence is something that Zaha isn’t lacking at the moment, with the tricky winger claiming an assist in each of his last two matches against Leicester City and Liverpool, putting him on three for the season and giving him a great chance to smash his Premier League best of five, which he set last season.
On his recent form, he said: “I can’t complain, I’m happy. I’ve managed to get three assists which is more than most of my previous seasons, so I’m pleased I’m making a bit more progress and I’m hoping it carries on.
“It helps having Christian [Benteke] here – just knowing that if I cross the ball early he’s going to be there, and if I get it high enough he can hang in the air for ages. I know that I can take one touch and cross it, he’ll get his head to it, so it’s easier for me.
“When you have a connection with someone and you know what each other is going to do, it makes it much easier. I’m loving playing with him so far.”
After enjoying a superb September, Alan Pardew’s men were glad to see the back of October but Zaha believes that the margins of those defeats has been small, and as his side continue to adapt their style of play he is fully confident that a turnaround is on the cards sooner rather than later.
“It’s hard for everyone right now but in the recent games, one small thing has seen us lose,” he added. “We’re willing to work and make it right. We’re not going around being gloomy, we’re trying to tighten up the small things that are missing in our game right now. Eventually we’ll turn it around so I have no fears.
“The change of style and the way we’re playing has been a transition and players are still learning and understanding what we’re supposed to do, so once we get through that period we’ll be much better.”