'He gave me a reality check' - Crystal Palace's Zaha relives Alan Pardew's treatment

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Ahead of Saturday’s league game at the Hawthorns, the 25-year-old hailed the English gaffer’s impact on his career

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha has paid tribute to West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Pardew for his strict approach to coaching which has helped him to become a better player.

The winger was subjected to a tough treatment under the 56-year-old gaffer who spent two years in Selhurst Park.

Zaha, scorer of three Premier League goals this campaign and now a cog member of Roy Hodgson’s team, believes the approach of the former Newcastle United coach is now yielding dividends.

“He has made me challenge myself more,” Zaha told London Evening Standard.

“Before, it was a thing where no matter what happened I would still be on the pitch. He gave me a reality check, where if I was not having the best game he would take me off at half-time. And once I am off, what can I do?

“It made me think about my game and what I need to do better as a Premier League winger. And I have tried to do that. It will be nice to see him again.”

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According to the Abidjan-born player, the newly-appointed Baggies coach also left an indelible mark on the Selhurst Park outfit.

“He took the club to that next step. Obviously now we work hard and do what Palace do but with the players we have, we can control the game more now,

“Players such as Yohan [Cabaye]. We owe that to him [Pardew]. He made us more of a passing team — not just we know we are going to get dominated and one break we score. He did that for the team.”

Zaha will reunite with Pardew when Crystal Palace visit the Hawthorns for Saturday’s Premier League tie against West Brom.

Crystal Palace are languishing at the bottom of the Premier League table with nine points from 14 games.

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