Wilfried Zaha's return a massive boost for Crystal Palace, says Andros Townsend

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The 25-year-old inspired Roy Hodgson's side to their first win in eight league matches on Saturday following his return from a knee injury

Crystal Palace midfielder Andros Townsend has described Wilfried Zaha's return from injury as a massive boost for the London outfit who are in a fight against relegation.

The Cote d'Ivoire international, sidelined for a month owing to a knee injury he picked against Newcastle United in February, returned to the Eagles' starting XI at the John Smith's Stadium.

His return halted Crystal Palace's winless run of seven Premier League games as they moved out of the drop zone.

Prior to the Saturday's encounter, the Eagles have lost all their league games in the absence of the talisman who has scored four goals in 22 league appearances this season.

Wilf PS

Thrilled by the turn of event, Townsend noted that the fitness of the former Manchester United forward will be crucial in their fight to remain in the English top-flight.

"Wilf coming back gives us a massive boost," Townsend was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

"He's an incredible player for us. We need to keep him fit if we're going to stay up.”

Although goals from James Tomkins and Luka Milivojevic secured maximum points for Palace against Huddersfield Town, Zaha was a target for harsh tackles from the opposition, which prompted his replacement in the 89th minute.

And Townsend has stated that the 25-year-old is strong enough to take the challenges thrown at him and help the team.

"When you're as good as Wilf and when you're the team's talisman you have to take that punishment," he added.

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"The likes of Eden Hazard and Harry Kane take the same tackles. Wilf is robust enough and strong enough to ride those challenges and get on with the game.

"The most impressive thing about him against Huddersfield is that he didn't let it affect him, he didn't lose his head.

"He kept getting on the ball and he kept taking people on and you can't ask for any more than that from a player."

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