Patrick Vieira confirms Crystal Palace forward boost every fan has been waiting for

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Crystal Palace will look to finish as high as they can in the Premier League and the FA Cup.

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has confirmed star man Wilfried Zaha is back to his best which can only be bad news for opponents.

Zaha had a tough start to life under Patrick Vieira but both are now pulling in the same direction.

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The wide man is now enjoying his game and Palace are on their way to Wembley.

This season, after, a slow start, Zaha now has 12 goals in all competitions.

But his real improvement has been in his overall play, where he brings others into the game, and going back to defend when Palace don’t have the ball.

Patrick Vieira, Manager of Crystal Palace speaks with Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)Patrick Vieira, Manager of Crystal Palace speaks with Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Patrick Vieira, Manager of Crystal Palace speaks with Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images) | Getty Images

His recent energy and drive has opened doors for youngster like Conor Gallgher, on-loan from Chelsea, and flying Michael Olise, who has wasted little time in adapting to the Premier League after arriving from Reading in the summer.

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There have even been suggestions that Palace are now in a better position to deal with a potential Zaha departure than they have ever been, with star players sprouting from almost every department of the team.

But Vieira, who has had to take the responsibility of leadership from the Ivorian forward and handed it to young defender Marc Guehi, says he is happy with the impact Zaha has in his new look team.

The Crystal Palace manager said: “This is the strength of the squad and team, to count on the ability of the squad.

“Of course, Wilfried is a massive, important player for us. We’re stronger with him.

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“Every team in the league has a player who can make that difference and Wilfried is that.

“I’m glad he’s playing well, creating chances and scoring goals.”

Palace have made a return to Wembley for only the the second time in the last 20 years.

The last time they were there, Alan Pardew danced for the South London side.

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But Vieira, whose side have seen their stock rise after impressive games against Manchester City and and Arsenal, says there is healthy competition in his team.

Almost everyone bar Nathan Ferguson, who has suffered a fresh injury, is competing for places heading into the Leicester game this weekend and the trip Wembley after.

He added: “We do our normal meetings and we had the same training programme.

“The attitude has been really good and we know what we want to achieve.

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“We’ll have an exciting game against Chelsea, but the Leicester game is important for us.”

The news of players competing for positions, and the return to form of Zaha who looks to be enjoying his football again, will be music to Palace fans who love their club.

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