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Freedman backs Zaha potential

7 October 2012

Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman was impressed by Wilfried Zaha's latest starring role against Burnley and believes the teenager in the best place to achieve his "huge potential".

The 19-year-old's man-of-the-match performance helped the Eagles turn around a two-goal deficit to secure a 4-3 victory on a sunny afternoon at Selhurst Park.

Chris McCann and Martin Paterson had put Palace behind against the run of play, only for Zaha to level things up with goals either side of half-time. Damien Delaney and Glenn Murray efforts meant that Charlie Austin's late goal was a mere consolation as Palace secured three points in a game in which Zaha will take all the headlines.

"Wilfried Zaha has decided this year that he is going to commit himself to football and I think that he understands you have to do that it you want to play football at the very highest level," Freedman said.

"He is certainly a young man who has got huge potential and hopefully he can fulfil that. I think this is the place to fulfil it because he is expressing his talent week in, week out in front of a very good crowd. The young man will mature under that and his game understanding will get better.

"I have seen him play better than today but I have very high standards with Wilfried, as I have with a lot of players. Overall I am very, very happy because it has been a tremendous week's work. There was a great physical effort put into the three games that we won and they were three different games we've had to play.

"Today was always going to be difficult for us. They were not going to come here and lie down. I felt they scored two goals against the run of play that put us on the backfoot, but I felt the response from the lads, the spirit we've got in the dressing room and that little bit of quality up top won us the game."

Burnley manager Eddie Howe was left wondering what could have been after seeing his side throw away the lead in south London.

"It is hugely disappointing to lose the game today," he said.

"When you score the amount of goals we are at the moment and we're not getting the points that reflects, it's hugely frustrating. We feel very low tonight. At 2-0 up, we were well in control of the game and the first goal was a frustrating goal to concede."

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