Palace boss: Wilfried Zaha has to manage fact he is a target for opposition

Patrick Vieira has urged Wilfried Zaha to “learn to manage” situations in games but recognises that the forward is a “target” for opposition sides following the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.

Zaha was involved in a battle with midfielder John McGinn throughout the match and played up to the occasion by cupping his ears to the Villa Park crowd.
The 29-year-old Ivorian is Palace’s top goalscorer this season with 13 Premier League goals.
“That is part of Wilfried – his character and personality,” said Vieira of Zaha’s reaction to incidents during Sunday’s game.
“It is a strength and a weakness at the same time. But, at times, there were fouls.
“He is a target player, but he has to manage those situations.
“He has to manage his mind and keep that energy and strength to allow him to make a difference in the last third.
“This is something he has to manage better. Saying that, it has been a bit difficult for him at times – he is a target player.”
Palace captain Luka Milivojevic made his first start for the Eagles since the 1-1 draw with Burnley in late February.
The 31-year-old Serbian has only started nine Premier League games this season under Vieira, with James McArthur, Cheikhou Kouyate, Will Hughes, and Conor Gallagher picked in a central role ahead of Milivojevic throughout the season.
Milivojevic has made more than 150 appearances for the South Londoners during his five years since joining from Olympiacos in 2017.
“I was really pleased with the game that [Luka] had,” said Vieira. “For someone who did not play a lot in the last couple of months, he showed experience. He showed quality, and his decision making was really good.
“He managed the tempo of the game.”

 

 


 

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