Thursday Feb 25, 2021. 14:00
Crystal Palace defender Gary Cahill believes the team has proved that they can win without star man Wilfried Zaha.
The Eagles defeated Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 earlier this week to bring to an end a wretched stretch of form – and they did so without their influential Ivorian international.
Palace have a poor record in games where Zaha is absent, but against the Seagulls they bucked this trend thanks to goals from Christian Benteke and Jean-Philippe Mateta.
The Eagles had lost 18 of the last 20 matches that Zaha had missed before this game. The Elephants attacker is currently sidelined with a hamstring issue.
“We’ve proved that wrong today,” Cahill told Sky Sports, as quoted by London News Online.
“The stat obviously speaks for itself, such is his quality. His presence in the team is vital, ever since I’ve been here that has been apparent. The way he can carry the ball and move up the pitch gives us a breather at times.
“His quality is there for everyone to see, he’s added goals this season and he’s a big miss. But it’s important that we’re not just relying on one player because we have a couple of players who can fill in his role perfectly well.
“Today we got the result, we obviously wish him a speedy recovery and hope to get him back very soon along with others. We’ve had a few injuries this season, so that’s not helped. He’s a big player for us but we need to move on. We can’t just rely on one player all the time. Today to get the result is satisfying.”
Palace will be back in Premier League action on Sunday 28 February when they host Fulham for a London derby.