Freedman pleased with cup win
Palace boss hails teamwork while no complaints from Mowbray
Last Updated: 20/09/11 11:20pm
Freedman: Full of praise for youngster Wilfried Zaha
Manager Dougie Freedman had a rising star and a forgotten man to thank for Crystal Palace's 2-1 Carling Cup win over Middlesbrough on Tuesday.
Teenage winger Wilfried Zaha scored the opener to enhance his blossoming reputation and Calvin Andrew marked a rare opportunity in the team with his first Palace goal in 17 months.
Merouane Zemmama pulled one back for the visitors but Palace held on to earn themselves a touch of revenge after Boro beat them 1-0 in the Championship on Saturday.
"Wilfried was fantastic tonight," said Freedman. "He's getting better every time we see him, but he knows that's through the hard work he is putting in in training.
"We spoke about being a team tonight and I felt we were, we worked as individuals for the team. Middlesbrough pass it well and make you work hard but we were up for that challenge.
"Calvin doesn't score many goals because he doesn't get many chances to play, but when he does he puts in the effort and he scored a great goal.
"These days it's a squad game and players understand that. Calvin knows he has to be patient, work hard in training and produce when he's called upon and he did that.
"The team is doing well in this cup and long may it continue."
Zaha struck in the 19th minute when he collected a through-ball from fellow youngster Jonathan Williams and lashed it past Danny Coyne.
Glenn Murray hit the crossbar just after the break but the second goal did come in the 52nd minute when Zaha's deep cross found Andrew at the far post.
The former Luton striker planted his header back over Coyne and although Boro defender Stephen McManus helped it over the line, no-one was going to tell Andrew the goal was not his.
Three minutes later Zemmama halved the deficit but Boro could not find an equaliser and slipped to their first defeat of the season.
"I can't complain about the effort," said Boro boss Tony Mowbray. "For long spells we were the ones trying to create the goals but you've got to stick the ball in the net.
"Palace are a good counter-attacking team, we gave the ball away sloppily and all of a sudden they are attacking and Zaha scores.
"He's a talented young boy but we had no special plans for him. I don't watch him every week but I'm pretty sure he blows hot and cold, when he's hot he's pretty hot and when he's cold he probably gets substituted.
"We were going to lose at some stage this season and we found out at the weekend this is a very difficult place to come, but I'm comfortable with the way we applied ourselves to the game."