Wilfried Zaha key to Crystal Palace survival, says Andros Townsend
By Matthew Treadwell
Last Updated: 19/03/18 8:59am
Andros Townsend believes keeping Crystal Palace team-mate Wilfried Zaha fit will be key to their Premier League survival.
Palace won 2-0 away to Huddersfield on Saturday to move out of the relegation zone, with Zaha back in the side after he recovered from a knee injury.
Mamadou Sakho, Yohan Cabaye and Ruben Loftus-Cheek also returned to the matchday squad but it was the availability of Zaha that Townsend feels will prove crucial to their hopes of staying up - in the nine games Zaha has missed through injury this season, Palace have not claimed a single point.
"Yeah I think that's a massive boost," Townsend said of Zaha's return to action.
"The stats when he's not in the team - I don't need to harp on about it, but he's an incredible player for us.
"We need to keep him fit if we're going to survive and get more performances from him like he did today and drag us to more victories."
Townsend - who suffered relegation at QPR and Newcastle - knows grit and determination will be required if they are to avoid the drop and emphasised that no team is too good to be relegated to the Sky Bet Championship.
"In a relegation battle you need more than talent. You need heart and desire," added Townsend.
"You need everything we showed out there today and we're going to need that same attitude in the last seven games if we're going to survive.
"I've been in teams before when people said we were too good to go down, we know that's never the case.
"We've had a lot of injuries to key players at key moments. Hopefully everyone's on the way back and we can have a strong end to the season and finish on a high."