Jordan Ayew calls on Crystal Palace to find form without Wilfried Zaha

George Sessions, PA
·3-min read

Jordan Ayew has urged his Crystal Palace team-mates to ease the pressure on Wilfried Zaha after another defeat without him on Saturday to Burnley.

Goals inside the opening 10 minutes from Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Jay Rodriguez set the Clarets on their way to a comfortable 3-0 win on the road before Matt Lowton added a brilliant third early in the second half.

It made it 18 defeats in 20 Premier League games without Zaha, who has missed the last two matches with a hamstring injury.

The Eagles are not in action again until they make the trip to rivals Brighton on February 22 but rather than pin their hopes on the Ivory Coast ace being fit, fellow attacker Ayew urged the rest of the group to show their ability.

He told Premier League Productions: “Wilf is a big player for the team. He is a big miss for us but we have other good qualities in the team and we have to be ourselves.

“We have to fight and we have to try and ease the pressure on Wilf as well and try to do the best we can to get points. Hopefully we start this on Monday.”

Midfielder Jairo Riedewald is aware of Palace’s poor run of results without their nine-goal hitman.

But he told Sky Sports: “He is a very high quality player and a threat for every opponent. I know the record without Zaha is not that good.

“Hopefully he will come back soon but I think with this team we can also get some results. We just need to get our heads straight and bounce back next week.”

Burnley are next in action on Wednesday when they welcome relegation rivals Fulham to Turf Moor for a key encounter.

Victory over the third from bottom club would open up a big gap between the sides but Sean Dyche could be without a number of key players.

Robbie Brady and Josh Brownhill returned to the matchday squad for the clash at Selhurst Park. Yet Charlie Taylor and Chris Wood (both hamstring) were absent.

On top of them, Burnley will need to check on the fitness of captain Ben Mee after he had to leave the pitch on a stretcher following an innocuous collision with Jordan Ayew.

“They will have to do a medical review,” Dyche said. “They do checks and stuff to make sure you are OK but he was fine in the dressing room so I will leave it to the medical team now.”

Burnley lost Matej Vydra in the build-up to the trip to London and he was sent for a scan on Friday to assess his hamstring injury.

Meanwhile full-back Erik Pieters was withdrawn late on in the capital, Dyche added: “He had a tight groin.

“It was a strange one, he gave me the thumbs up and then 30 seconds went down. I will have to wait and see what that one is all about but hopefully it is tightness rather than a strain.”