Pardew stands by unsettled Zaha

The former Manchester United winger has been heavily linked with a potential move to White Hart Lane but the former Newcastle manager has praised the player's attitude

Alan Pardew has claimed that benching Wilfried Zaha on Saturday was not a punishment for the player reportedly seeking a move to Tottenham. 

Zaha, 23, is said to have met with his manager on Thursday to discuss the interest from Spurs, with Palace having rejected a bid deemed to be unsatisfactory from Mauricio Pochettino's team.

The star attacker was then named among the substitutes for the visit of Bournemouth to Selhurst Park in the Premier League, the former Manchester United player coming on to help Palace snatch a 1-1 draw. 

"Wilf's a young man," Pardew told a post-match media conference.

"He's done terrific for us. He was Player of the Year, I play him every week. He's had a tough week, so I wanted to give him a rest.

"He's shown today why he's so highly regarded. Wilf couldn't have done any more for us during his time on the pitch.

GOAL READ MORE  | Palace salvage point

"He didn't take being on the bench badly at all. I think he understood it wasn't a punishment.

"His actions today and yesterday have shown what a good character he is."

Pardew handed a debut to big-money signing Christian Benteke, the centre-forward struggling to make an impact but demonstrating flashes of his considerable talent after signing from Liverpool last week, and the former Newcastle United manager was pleased with his impact.

"Christian showed the power and experience in that role through some of the things he did," the manager said.

"He's lacking a bit of play sharpness.

"On another day he'd have had a couple of goals."