Connor Wickham admits relief at ending goal wait

BY MATT WOOSNAM

Connor Wickham revealed his relief at netting his first goal for over two years in Crystal Palace’s FA Cup victory over Tottenham.

The striker opened the scoring from close range just nine minutes into his first start since an horrific injury sustained in a Premier League clash at Swansea in November 2016, and his presence lurking behind Kyle Walker-Peters induced the young full-back to concede a penalty with a handball, which Andros Townsend buried.

“It was a massive relief,” he said.

“We got ourselves in the lead which was good and we were saying at half time that it could have been 4-0 if we took our chances and were clinical in the end, but I think the performance was as professional as it could have been from start to finish.”

The 25-year old believes that his side can replicate the last time he was involved in the competition, back in 2015/16 when they reached the final under Alan Pardew.

‘I think we’ve definitely got the squad to do it [go on a Cup run], we showed that, we made a few changes but whoever the gaffer decides to put on the field can definitely put in a performance.

“It’s good, it’s not just Wilf and Andros, we can all share the load. We’ve got Jordan [Ayew], Christian [Benteke] has just come back and myself, we look strong all the way from the back to the front.”

Julian Speroni made Palace history as he became the goalkeeper to have recorded the highest number of clean sheets for the club, with the 112th of his Eagles career, and Wickham was full of praise for the fans’ favourite.

“He’s been a very, very good servant and a top guy. It’s well deserved and you can see why he’s such a legend here; the fans love him and the performance he put in today, he showed what a professional he is and he’s still got the attributes of a top goalkeeper.”

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