Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Crystal Palace striker Connor Wickham hoping 2019 sees the end of his injury problems

Photo: PA

Crystal Palace striker Connor Wickham has tempered his targets for 2019, with fitness his first objective.

Rather than set a goal target, Wickham is just keen to play more after two years out with a serious knee injury.

"I've not really set myself any targets this year," Wickham said.

"Every year I say 'this year is my year'. In the season it's just about now staying fit, being in the manager's eye and being available for selection. Hopefully that's what I'll achieve."

Wickham injured his knee against Swansea in November 2016 and has struggled to return to full fitness until now. Credit: PA

Wickham believes he offers a different dimension to Palace's forward play, with boss Roy Hodgson having favoured a fluid front two of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend so far this season.

Wickham missed a good chance to score an equaliser in Sunday's loss to Chelsea, which could linger in Hodgson's mind as the Eagles boss selects his side for Wednesday's trip to Wolves.

The striker insists he is ready to start, but admits playing a full game may have to wait.

"I'll always feel like I'm ready," Wickham added.

Wickham returned to first team action in December 2018. Credit: PA

"It's down to the manager. If he chooses me, then I'll be there.

"Ninety minutes is a different question, but to start a game I'd be fine."

While 2018 was a year to forget for Wickham, Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka enjoyed a fine time after being promoted to the starting XI due to an injury crisis in February.

The 21-year-old academy graduate has not looked back and is tipped for a senior England call-up.

Wan-Bissaka has gone from strength to strength for Palace. Credit: PA

"It was a breakthrough year for me," he said.

"I didn't expect the breakthrough to come the way it has. I'm grateful for it and I'll take the chances.

"The aim is to just go forward (in 2019), whether England or the under-21s, and just keep improving."