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February 19 2018 11.34am

Delaney on challenge ahead

October 9 2017

Damien Delaney

Damien Delaney

Damien Delaney reckons the return of Wilfried Zaha can reignite Crystal Palace's season.

Delaney, 36, made his first league start of 2017/18 at Manchester United last week and couldn't stop the team from capitulating to a 4-0 defeat.

Palace have badly missed winger and Player of the Year Zaha, who has been sidelined since the campaign's opener against Huddersfield with a knee injury.

Saturday's home clash with Chelsea could see his return and Delaney hopes the side's talisman can inspire them with the "enormous task" of turning around their season.

"He gives you an enormous outlet, everyone knows he is one of the top players in the division," said Delaney. "Any team that loses their main man is going to struggle a little bit. A lot of attacking players are out of the team at the minute.

"The task ahead is enormous for us, but we're aware of what's ahead of us. But our season wasn't the last two weeks against Man City and Man United, although getting beat by five and four [goals] is unacceptable. But we take it on the chin.

"We have Chelsea up next and then we start with a run of games where we need to start picking up points.

"The size of the task is massive, but it's going to be enjoyable and I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully we'll come out the right end at the end of the season."

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