Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew says he feels sorry for Wilfried Zaha but is working hard to lift his spirits following his Manchester United disappointment.

The winger, on loan from Old Trafford until the end of the season, has played only a bit-part role in the Eagles’ Premier League campaign since returning in the summer.

He came off the bench on Saturday in the 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur and looked to be getting back to the form that made Sir Alex Ferguson splash £15m on him in 2012.

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Pardew said: “Wilf found himself at the biggest club in the world, bar one or two.

“But not getting an opportunity there, and having to come back to his former club – that is mentally difficult for a young player.

“I feel for him a little bit and I do my best to raise his profile and spirit for us and for Manchester United, as I am sure they have one eye on him.”

He added: “I really like him, I have always liked him. I enquired about him when I was Newcastle manager a couple of times and could not get him.”