‘Special talent’ Michael Olise still has a long way to go – Patrick Vieira

The summer signing has scored four goals and claimed five assists this season
‘Special talent’ Michael Olise still has a long way to go – Patrick Vieira

By George Sessions, PA

Patrick Vieira knows Crystal Palace have a special talent on their hands in Michael Olise but is keen to keep the youngster’s feet on the ground.

The 20-year-old produced another fine FA Cup performance on Saturday, creating the opener for Marc Guehi and scoring the second in a 2-0 win over Hartlepool.

It followed a man-of-the-match display during a hostile atmosphere in the previous round away to Millwall.

Vieira said: “When you look at the last round and this one, he played well. He can score goals, create chances and he is a special talent.

“He will improve and get better as a player. His work ethic every day has been terrific since he has been at the football club.

“There is still a long way to go. He still needs to improve some parts of the game but he is doing well and playing with a lot of confidence.

“His team-mates trust him a lot to give him the ball and that is a good sign, so he has to keep working and keep improving himself.”

After easing Olise into the fold gradually following his July arrival from Reading, Vieira has now started the attacker in the club’s last four matches.

Last season’s Sky Bet Championship Young Player of the Year has grasped his opportunity with three goals and as many assists during the last month.

But Vieira added: “There are some tactical elements in the game he needs to better understand.

“What we expect and want from him is to be decisive in the last 30 yards.

“He has showed he has the quality to do that. When we look at him here, he was really dangerous and he could score a couple more goals with better decisions, but that will come with more experience and more games.”

A feature of Vieira’s first campaign at Palace has been giving younger players a chance and Tayo Adaramola was the latest at the weekend.

The 18-year-old was introduced in the 86th minute to a standing ovation at Selhurst Park.

“He is a young player so full of energy,” Vieira explained.

“He loves going forward and has been doing really well with the academy, so it was the right time to give him a couple of minutes.

“Overall he is part of those young players who if we work well with them and if they are committed to having the work ethic we want in place, they will have the chance to fulfil their potential.”

While Hartlepool’s memorable FA Cup run is over, boss Graeme Lee could still guide his side to Wembley this season with an EFL Trophy semi-final to come in March.

First for Pools is a Sky Bet League Two home clash with Barrow on Tuesday.

Lee said: “I’ve said throughout the cup run that those type of performances we have to do in the league.

“We are getting them in the league and second half we had the belief. We were aggressive and on the front foot. We have to take that into Tuesday’s game with Barrow.”

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