Neil Warnock appears to have aimed a thinly-veiled dig at Manchester United regarding their youth policy, suggesting that Wilfried Zaha will not find a repeat of the same problems that blighted his time at Old Trafford now he has rejoined Crystal Palace.
21-year-old Zaha - who joined Manchester United from the South London club in January 2013 as Sir Alex Ferguson's final purchase before his subsequent retirement - has totally failed to live up to expectations with the 20-time champions and left on loan last month to commence a third spell at Selhurst Park.
No time for youngsters
Warnock - who himself returned to Palace in August following Tony Pulis' departure as manager - clearly has faith that the England international will succeed back in familiar surroundings, suggesting that he has something to prove and that he will get more time than he did at Manchester United.
"Wilfried has something to prove," he told the London Evening Standard.
"It will make such a difference that the fans are behind him. At Man United they don’t seem to have time for the youngsters but he won’t find that a problem here."
Zaha and Warnock are not the only former Crystal Palace favourites to have returned to the club of late, with striker Andy Johnson also rejoining on a short-term deal that will include the option to help out with coaching duties.
33-year-old Johnson - who has been without a club since being released from an injury-riddled spell with Queens Park Rangers in July - was a prolific goalscorer during his previous stint with Palace and Warnock evidently believes he has what it takes to coax a similar run of form from his current strikers.
"It is one of the reasons why I brought Andy back to the club, not just for playing but pushing people to get into the first tea," he continued.
"I asked him if he would do a bit of coaching with the strikers and he’s enjoying it. We have Fraizer Campbell, Dwight Gayle and Zaha and they’re all young lads with a lot to learn. He is the ideal person to teach them a few things."
Zaha - for whom the writing appeared to be on the wall at Manchester United after he did not even get off the substitutes bench during the 4-0 Capital One Cup humiliation at the hands of MK Dons last month - wasted no time in re-acquainting himself with his old fanbase prior to the international break, notching a last-minute equaliser during a truly breathless 3-3 draw with Newcastle at St James' Park.
Warnock's men host Sean Dyche's newly-promoted Burnley on Saturday, a match which could present his players with the perfect opportunity to secure a first Premier League victory of the season.
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