Wilfried Zaha says he’s not fussed about the place rivals Brighton & Hove Albion finish within the Premier League this season so long as Crystal Palace end strongly.
The Ivorian winger – and common thorn within the Seagulls’ facet – has loved a stellar marketing campaign in pink and blue this yr as Palace hope to safe only a second-ever top-ten end within the league underneath new supervisor Patrick Vieira. Zaha has helped take the Eagles to the brink of that achievement, serving to encourage the membership to memorable wins over Tottenham, Manchester Metropolis and Arsenal amongst others.
With three matches of the season to go, Palace sit in tenth place on 44 factors – one place and three factors behind Graham Potter’s Brighton however with a recreation in hand over them and a greater objective distinction. Requested whether or not ending above their long-term rivals was an incentive to complete the season properly, Zaha stated he wasn’t paying any consideration to what was occurring on the south coast.
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“For me personally, I don’t actually care the place Brighton end – that’s not my motivation,” the 29-year-old BBC Radio London. “My motivation is for the membership to go as excessive as potential. The season isn’t completed till the final whistle is blown and there are not any extra video games left. That’s my motivation – to get this group to complete as excessive as potential.”
Zaha was talking at Crystal Palace’s end-of-season awards night time in Croydon the place he picked up the prize for the objective of the season for his strike towards Norwich at Carrow Street in February. The winger obtained the ball out broad and took a contact previous Przemysław Płacheta earlier than firing an ideal, curling effort previous Angus Gunn and into the highest nook of the web.
That objective was one in every of 14 scored by Zaha to this point this season, surpassing his earlier career-best tally of 11 set final yr underneath Roy Hodgson. It’s additionally the third time within the final 4 years he’s hit double figures for the marketing campaign, although Vieira has nonetheless stated he thinks Zaha must be aiming to attain 20 for Palace in a season.
Talking about his objective of the season strike towards Norwich, Zaha added: “It’s straightforward, to be trustworthy. I simply shifted the ball and tried to strike it as onerous as I might actually. It was a rigorously measured shot on the identical time so I used to be glad that it went flying into the highest nook.”
Requested if Vieira’s possession-based model of play was serving to the group’s attacking output and specifically his personal, the winger stated: “The way in which we play has made a large distinction. We’re extra attacking now. Each group we come up towards we attempt to defend from the entrance and the best way we defend permits us to have extra alternatives. I’ve undoubtedly loved my soccer this season.”
Palace nonetheless have three matches whereby Zaha can enhance his tally, with Vieira taking his facet to Aston Villa on Sunday earlier than a midweek journey to Everton is adopted by a house match towards Manchester United at Selhurst Park.