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Crystal Palace hoping to fend off interest in Zaha


PALACE boss Ian Holloway hopes that Wilfried Zaha is still with the club for the second half of the Championship campaign as his side look to get back on the automatic promotion trail.

With the January transfer window now open for business, the speculation surrounding the star winger is expected to go into overdrive, while the manager says he's already made a number of enquiries about bringing in some new faces to Selhurst Park.

"We know where we are, we like the boy," said Holloway.

"I brought him off last weekend [at Nottingham Forest], but that was a great response from him [against Wolves] and when he's got a smile on his face, I know Palace have played well.

"The rest of the team do their job for them. He's a wonderful lad, he's had a hard couple of months and hopefully he'll have a hard run in – with us.

"The chairman and I are ducking and diving now, we've already started a load of phone calls.

"We're trying to help the squad and build it to have a second half of the season which will keep everybody singing."

Meanwhile, Zaha has stated he would like to make it to the Premier League with the Eagles after experiencing a number of highs and lows already in his short career so far.

"It'd be a great feeling to get promoted with Palace because I have been with the club for a long time," he told Palace's official matchday programme on New Year's Day.

"I've been with them through the hard times when we've nearly been relegated so actually making it to the Premier League would be great.

"Going through all the struggles, to be able to achieve something with the side would be a great achievement for us and me."

And the 20-year-old admitted that he's not been playing to his full potential in recent matches, but wants to forget the media attention on the back of his England call-up in November and concentrate on what he does best.

"During the last month I think my performances have dropped a bit but I just needed to get my confidence back up," he added.

"I would never have thought I'd have an England cap this time last season but all the hard work I've put in is paying off.

"All the media attention is new to me, so at first I was finding it hard but the only thing I decided to do now is keep away from it.

"I'm here to play football so that's all I want to do. I don't need to be in and around the media all the time."

In regards to the current transfer window, Holloway says he won't be getting any players in for the sake of it and hinted that he may look at people who have performed well for him in the past.

"I think we need to strengthen in one or two areas, but I'll also look at the academy set-up," he said.

"There are a couple of good players in that – are they ready to help yet? Probably not. Give them another year then who knows?

"We're working on some targets but I only want good ones. There is no point in having another player if he's no good, so hopefully I'll bring some good ones to help this group.

"It's not about how much money you spend, it's about what sort of player you've got.

"There are some great players who might not be wanted by people or there are players I've managed to borrow who were brilliant for me but weren't quite doing it for others.

"Hopefully we can do that again and get the right sort of specific player to play the way I want."

One player who will feel like a new addition to Holloway is Jonathan Williams, who has returned to action in the past two games against Nottingham Forest and Wolves after injury.

And the diminutive midfielder revealed he's feeling good again and hoping for a successful 2013.

"Everything is feeling good and I've had no more niggles," he said. "It's just getting that match fitness and being involved with this great team.

"I'm hoping to have a good run of games in the squad, especially when we're doing so well – it's exciting times for Palace and everyone at the club.

"It was frustrating to pick up that niggle in a reserve game a couple of months ago – it was a Grade One hamstring strain.

"The new manager spoke to me and said we needed to get it sorted, so the physios and the staff have worked really hard to get me fit.

"I hope all that work will pay off and the New Year is a good one."

Crystal Palace hoping to fend off interest in Zaha

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