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Zaha Wil be a danger, warns Clarets skipper
BOTH Burnley and Crystal Palace have undergone managerial changes since the last time they met, but the Eagles’ threat remains the same.
Wilfried Zaha sparked the turn-around at Selhurst Park in October, scoring twice as the Clarets surrendered a 2-0 lead to lose 4-3.
The danger man remains hot property now that the January transfer window is open, with Manchester United favourites to win the race for the 20-year-old England cap’s signature.
“He’s lightning quick, which causes any team problems,” warned Burnley captain Jason Shackell ahead of tomorrow’s rematch at Turf Moor.
“He’s got that little bit of skill.
“I’m sure he’ll be looking to push onwards and upwards.
“It’s a good test for our players as well though. Tripps (Kieran Trippier) has had a great season so far and it will be another good test for him up against Zaha.
“It’s one we’re looking forward to, one we’ll relish and hopefully we can get the win.”
The Clarets looked on course for maximum points in the capital, but after conceding just before the break the afternoon turned into arguably their most frustrating of the season.
“It was because we were 2-0 up and looking comfortable and they scored just before half time,” said Shackell.
“That sort of changed the whole picture of the game and they came out all guns blazing. We didn’t quite match how we started the first half and it was really disappointing to come away losing that game when we were in such a good position.”
The defender admitted the outcome summed up their season at the point – scoring plenty but conceding more.
“We could have scored five every game and conceded seven!” he joked.
Shackell described the weeks after that October meeting with Palace as “a crazy, topsy turvy time.”
During the two-week break for internationals that followed manager Eddie Howe returned to Bournemouth, leaving Terry Pashley in caretaker charge for three games before Sean Dyche’s appointment at the end of the month.
“Things happened that we can’t control as players and we’ve dealt with it and the new manager’s come in and done really well for himself,” the centre half continued.
“It’s worked out well for Eddie himself going back to Bournemouth and still hasn’t lost a game yet.
“I think everyone’s happy.
“Eddie’s back there where he’s happy and the manager’s come in and done a great job here.
“We’re so organised now. Teams are finding it hard not only to score goals but to create chances against us, which is an amazing plus.
“Going forward we’re still creating a lot of chances so maybe it’s just about being a bit more ruthless in both boxes at the minute and make sure you turn those chances into goals and keep them out then hopefully we can pick up some more wins.”
Burnley are looking to build on their New Year’s Day win over Sheffield Wednesday in their first home game of 2013 tomorrow.
“Every team will say there have been games where they maybe should have got more out of them,” Shackell said.
“But we have and to still be only four points off the play-offs when we feel like we’ve been inconsistent and maybe could have and should have done better then that’s a huge positive. If we can push on and keep performance levels high, hopefully we’ll be there or thereabouts.”
Clipping the wings of the high-flying Eagles would be a good start.
“We owe them one!” he said.
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