Calvin Andrew is hoping his surprise Carling Cup heroics will help him rebuild his Crystal Palace career.

The 24-year-old striker, starting only his second Palace game since December 2010, scored his first goal for the Eagles in 17 months in the 2-1 win over Middlesbrough. Since moving to Selhurst Park three years ago, Andrew has suffered a serious injury and also had loan spells with Brighton, Millwall and Swindon.

"It's been hard for me since I came here," he admitted. "When I was first signed by Neil Warnock I started quite well but suffered a cruciate injury which kept me out for eight or nine months. I had to come back from that and it's been quite slow."

He added: "And obviously the goals have held me back. I know that as a striker you will always get judged on goals. Even if you are playing well and not scoring the manager will always have the reason to say 'look, someone else is scoring goals'.

"But when I look at our squad, I think I can get into it. We're doing well but I've got confidence this year, my game has come together and I've stayed fit so I think there is a spot for me."

Meanwhile, Andrew was full of praise for fellow forward Wilfried Zaha, who opened the scoring before laying on the second for his team-mate.

Zaha's fine form this season has seen him linked with top-flight clubs as well as drawing comparisons with Victor Moses, who left Palace for Wigan for £2.5million in January last year.

Andrew said: "He's magnificent. There's remnants of Victor Moses there. Ever since I came to this club I've seen so many young players come through the system and Wilf is exceptional.

"He's another one with the ability to go to which ever level he wants to play at.

"It's a tribute to the youth system and to the youth manager Gary Issott. He keeps churning them out."

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