Crystal Palace's Zaha 'not really a stats player' - Ivorian reflects on contribution

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Wilfried Zaha has reflected on his contribution for Crystal Palace in the 2020-21 season and hopes to score more goals and assists for the club.

The forward has been playing a significant role to help Palace maintain their Premier League status over the years, scoring a number of decisive goals.

In the current campaign, he has found the back of the net 10 times and provided two assists, amid other dazzling displays.

Ahead of Crystal Palace's encounter with Southampton on Tuesday night, Zaha is hopeful of getting on the scoresheet and make other key contributions.

“If you watch me play and not just at 10:30 on Match of the Day, you will realise that I’m not really a ‘stats’ player,” Zaha told the club website.

“I try to do a lot for the team, but obviously for me now, as I’m getting older, I look at my game and I feel like I try to just be more effective.

“I’ve managed to reach 10 goals again and I’m trying to push on and score more goals. At the end of the day it’s all about numbers, no one’s going to go through 50 of your games watching 90 minutes of what you’ve done - they just need that sheet of paper that says ‘how many goals did he score? How many assists does he do?’

“That’s what I’m trying to add to my game. I'm happy this season that I managed to score 10 - I’d like to get more goals but at this moment I can’t complain.”

Zaha also praised the togetherness and cooperation of the Palace squad, which he believes have helped the club stand out in the Premier League.

“I feel like the thing that sets Palace aside from all the other clubs for me is how family-orientated the club is, how close they are to the fans. I feel like that’s what makes it so different,”  he continued.

“I feel like at Palace, the fans, the people here genuinely care about each other. That’s the difference. They genuinely care about how your day’s been, how you are, how your mentality is. Obviously, with Covid, everyone’s going through it in their own little spaces, but when you come in here people genuinely care.

“In [tough] situations, you’ve got each other. That’s it. You don’t have crazy owners that would come in and put however much money, you just have each other and you just have to work together.

“When that’s all you have you’ve just got to deal with it every day. I feel like we prefer it this way to be honest.

"We understand each other and [we] know that once we get on that pitch [each] person’s going to sacrifice a 100% for you. We go through ups and downs together and that’s what makes the team stronger.”

Zaha has been with Crystal Palace since he was eight years old and was promoted to the first team in 2010. Since then, the forward has developed into one of the most exciting wingers in the Premier League and he praised the club for allowing him to grow.

“The club has grown me by just giving me the opportunity to have the experience that I have had. I’ve played so many games in the Premier League, not everyone gets the opportunity to play as many games, so that’s why I’m so thankful,” he added.

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“Through those games I’ve managed to analyse my [own] game and now I can sit here and speak about me trying to fixate on numbers and being more effective on the pitch. If Palace didn’t give me that opportunity I may not be here, so that’s the main thing that I’m grateful about.”