Reflecting on how the side have processed Tuesday’s defeat on the same ground on the Carabao Cup, Ward explained: “The other night was what it was. I don’t think it was the game we would’ve liked, but that’s football.
“United possess a lot of quality, they got their goals, and they made it difficult for us. It’s never easy coming off the back of a loss, but you want to go there and win and impose yourself. On Tuesday, things just didn’t quite go our way.
“Sometimes it happens when you go away from home and are up against a quality side like United. Now, we want to put it right and give ourselves the best chance of coming away with a point, or all three.
“First things first, you match their intensity and desire – that’s never been something we’ve shied away from. Hopefully we can get amongst them, create our own chances and establish ourselves in the game.
“It’s a team effort. If we can nullify threats and deny them spaces then that’s half the job. It’s never going to be as straightforward as that because football is football, but if we hopefully do the basics to the level we know we can do, we give ourselves a chance of winning the game.”
Should Ward start on Saturday, he is likely to come up against England international Marcus Rashford – but the Palace defender is looking forward to the contest.
He noted: “I think Marcus has set the stage alight for a number of years and he’s experienced now. He’s come up against so many different players in the Premier League and shown his quality and around the world.
“I think it’s a battle you relish. You want to put yourself up against the best of the best and he’s certainly up there with his technical ability, his speed and athleticism and his threat – but we want to nullify his opportunities.
“You set your benchmark against the best players in the world and the best clubs in the world. It doesn’t change regardless how many times you play, for me it’s about going out there and making sure you offer what you can offer to the team. Everyone plays their part in that and is there to hold each other accountable in singing off the same hymn sheet.”
As for whether Tuesday’s result could have any bearing on Saturday’s game, Ward noted: “We have the way we want to play – our identity – and regardless of team changes, that’s how we set up to make sure we give ourselves the best chance.
“There are always going to be differences between Cup games and Premier League games and you see that throughout football, but we want to make sure we go out and give a good account of ourselves and ideally put things right by imposing ourselves on United.
“You hold yourself to a certain standard and you have self-pride. You want to go out there and put it right. In football, you’re lucky you can do that with the amount of games that come thick and fast, but this is a different and unique scenario – playing them early on the week and then again on Saturday – so I certainly think that we’ll want to go there and put in the performance we know we’re capable of.”