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Crystal Palace’s Vieira on Zaha relationship: ‘To motivate him, challenge him’

20:51 GMT 08/04/2022
Patrick Vieira and Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace
The tactician praised the Ivorian who has scored a record-equalling 11 goals this season for the Eagles

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has explained the only way his forward Wilfried Zaha can be motivated.

Lauding the impact of the Ivorian at the club, Vieira said challenging him is the best way to push him to do even better.

"[The way to motivate him] is to challenge him," Vieira told the club’s website.

"There is a lot more he can do for the team. He’s working hard, creating chances, scoring goals, and I’m really happy with his performances at the moment.

"The challenge is the same for him as the rest of the players: to maintain those performances."

The tactician added the Ivorian is one of the top players who can make a difference and that Crystal Palace are strong with him.

"This is the strength of the squad. To count on the ability of the squad to get results. Wilfried is a massively important player for us and we are strong with Wilfried on the team," he continued.

"In every team in the league difference, you have a player who can make a difference, and Wilfried is one of those.

"I’m glad he’s playing well, creating chances and scoring goals, and in a really good period at the moment."

After their morale-boosting victory against Arsenal on Monday, Vieira has called on his players to keep the consistency going.

"We always have our feet on the ground," he stated.

"We were really pleased with the performance against Arsenal, but the challenge for us is to find this kind of consistency that we’ve been talking about – to try and repeat those kinds of games and those kinds of performances.

"We can still finish below the ninth position. Our aim is always to progress individually and collectively. We have to finish as high as we can. We have to look at our performance game after game.

"It’s about progressing as a team. There’s still a lot of departments in the game we need to improve. There’s a lot of details in our game we want to improve.

"There will be hard work and concentration from the players until the end of the season, and I don’t have any doubt about that."

Crystal Palace will visit Leicester City on Sunday for a Premier League game.