Former Newcastle United winger Andros Townsend knows talent alone is not enough to guarantee Crystal Palace’s Premier League safety.
Palace gave their survival hopes a big boost at relegation rivals Huddersfield Town, where goals from James Tomkins and Luka Milivojevic clinched them a 2-0 win.
Roy Hodgson’s side, buoyed by the return of talisman Wilfried Zaha, snapped a four-game losing run to climb back out of the bottom three, but Townsend issued a warning.
“In a relegation battle you need more than talent,” said Townsend, who was relegated with United the season before last.
“You need heart and desire.
“You need everything we showed out there, and we’re going to need that same attitude in the last seven games if we’re going to survive.”
Townsend knows what it takes having twice been involved in failed relegation battles with former clubs Queens Park Rangers and Newcastle.
“I’ve been in teams before when people said we were too good to go down, we know that’s never the case,” he said.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries to key players at key moments.
“Hopefully everyone’s on the way back, and we can have a strong end to the season and finish on a high.”
Zaha’s influence after recovering from a knee injury was key to Palace’s success at the John Smith’s Stadium, while the timely returns of Mamadou Sakho, Yohan Cabaye and Ruben Loftus-Cheek also galvanised the Eagles.
In the nine games in total Zaha has missed through injury this season, Palace have not won a single point.
“Yeah, I think that’s a massive boost – Wilf,” Townsend added. “The stats when he’s not in the team – I don’t need to harp on about it, but he’s an incredible player for us.
“We need to keep him fit if we’re going to survive and get more performances from him like he did and drag us to more victories.”