Patrick Vieira urges Wilfried Zaha to use his passion to inspire Crystal Palace in Brighton derby

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Wilfried Zaha has made a strong start to the season  (AFP via Getty Images)
Wilfried Zaha has made a strong start to the season (AFP via Getty Images)

Patrick Vieira has called on Wilfried Zaha to lead the way against Brighton tonight but has warned Crystal Palace’s star man he must become more consistent.

Many of Vieira’s new-look Palace squad will be experiencing the derby with Brighton for the first time and the Eagles manager wants Zaha to lead the way in his 400th appearance for the club.

The Palace talisman has been accused of getting overly emotional in the past, but Vieira is looking to channel that passion in the best way possible.

“I don’t want him to change – I want him to play with the same kind of passion,” said Vieira. “He is a winner, and I want that kind of winning mentality to be translated to the rest of the team. That is his personality, and I like to see him like that on the field.

“Wilfried playing those kind of games at home or away, he knows the intensity, the atmosphere of the stadium – he knows what to expect. Being in the dressing room, he will talk to the players who never had the chance to play those games.”

Patrick Vieira has challenged Wilfried Zaha to become more consistent (Getty Images)
Patrick Vieira has challenged Wilfried Zaha to become more consistent (Getty Images)

Just like his temper, Zaha’s form has a tendency to blow hot and cold. Zaha was man of the match in the 3-0 rout of Tottenham last time out at Selhurst Park and Vieira wants to ensure he stays at that level.

“This is one of the areas that Wilfried needs to improve," said the former Arsenal man.

"As a top player, he needs to be consistent in his performance.

“Against Liverpool, he was good. He had the time to create something for the team. I was really happy with the last couple of games he played, and I will want him to maintain that level because he is an important player for us.”

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