Vieira: Crystal Palace don’t want to be dependent on Zaha

Patrick Vieira and Wilfried Zaha of Crystal PalaceEddie Keogh/Getty Images

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has charged his players to step up their performances and not be reliant on Wilfried Zaha.

Zaha is set to play his first Premier League match since December 26 when the Eagles travelled to Norwich City on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old winger has a contribution of five goals and an assist to his name after 17 league appearances so far this season.

In his absence, Crystal Palace won only one of their four Premier League matches and the French boss looks forward to seeing all the players take responsibility and not just Zaha.

“The talent is fantastic to have but what is most important is the team,” Vieira told the club's website. “We built a squad where players take confidence and belief in their ability. We have a couple of players who can score and create chances.

“Of course, we are stronger with a really good Wilfried Zaha on the field because of his ability to create danger, but it’s important for him to understand he needs the team around him to perform and do what we know he can deliver.

“Wilfried is an important player for us, for the football club. There is no doubt about his talent. What is important and what I want is other players to take responsibility; I don’t want to put all that responsibility on one player.

“When you are Wilfried Zaha with his experience and what he’s done in the Premier League the focus and eyes are on him. That’s normal. But the players around him will need to take responsibility.”

Zaha played in all of Ivory Coast’s games at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations where they were knocked out in the round of 16.

However, Vieira confirmed the player's readiness to return to action for the Eagles at Carrow Road.

“Wilf’s been training in the last couple of days with the squad since the Africa Cup of Nations,” he said.

“He had a couple of days off and is feeling good. He’ll be part of the squad travelling to Norwich and has been doing well.”

Will Taiwo Awoniyi's Nottingham Forest avoid relegation this season?

3132 Votes

Thanks for voting.

Results will be shared soon.

Will Taiwo Awoniyi's Nottingham Forest avoid relegation this season?

  • 39%Yes
  • 61%No
3132 Votes