This interview first appeared in the Crystal Palace v Liverpool matchday programme.
After being pushed further forward into an attacking midfield role, Yohan Cabaye is hoping that he’ll get more chances to impress in that position in the coming weeks, starting with today’s game against Liverpool.
The Frenchman filled in for the injured Jason Puncheon seven days ago against Leicester City and in an all-action display he managed to get on the scoresheet for the first time this season. Having made his name in England in that position for Newcastle United, Cabaye is aiming to be as much of a threat in the final third as he was earlier in his career to help the Eagles rediscover their scoring touch.
“I am enjoying playing in that position because I like to play from box-to-box and I used to play in this position with Lille and Newcastle,” he said. “I like to be around the edge of the box to score or find a key pass for my teammates, so I’m happy with this position.
“I’m working towards scoring more goals and I want to be a key man for the team. One goal can be the difference between a draw or a win which means it is important for us. We have some good players and we create many chances, so it’s important to make that difference on the field and that’s something I’m trying to improve.”
After back-to-back defeats against West Ham United and the Foxes, Palace are aiming to get back to form against Liverpool in the teatime kick-off, an opponent that the Eagles have enjoyed plenty of success against in recent years. The midfielder is unsure why that is, but expects the Reds to be a much tougher prospect this season after seeing them in action during the early weeks.
On his side’s form against Liverpool, Cabaye said: “Sometimes that kind of thing happens in football and you get a good run against a team. Liverpool is one of those for Palace, so hopefully on the weekend we can carry on that run so that we can get back to winning ways.
“Liverpool is a big a club in this league so focusing on this game will be easy because we’re at home and we just want to win it. We’ve worked hard all week to be ready and fight for it.
“I think they are better than last season because they are playing how Jurgen Klopp wants them to play. With the new players in the team I think they’re better and I’m not surprised about their run. It will be tough but with the right motivation we can deal with them.”
The match will see Christian Benteke come up against his former club for the first time since he left Anfield, and with much interest upon his shoulders, Cabaye is backing his teammate to put in a good display on what should be a big evening for the Belgian.
“I think Christian just wants to play well for him and for the team,” said the French international. “I know it will be really special for him but he’s determined to give his maximum for the team to help us to have a better game and win it. If he can score then it’ll be even more special for him.”