Cape Town - Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew admits Yannick Bolasie gave the team a massive lift ahead of their FA Cup tie against Tottenham over the weekend.
The Eagles have struggled in the league in recent months, failing to win any of their last nine outings, and Bolasie's absence may have had something to do with it as the DR Congo winger had been sidelined since December with a leg injury.
However, he finally returned to action against Spurs on Sunday and Palace won the game 1-0 thanks to a Martin Kelly header, but manager Pardew was pleased that his star player is back.
"Bolasie is massively important, the fact he was on the bench gave everyone a boost. This week in Spain, seeing his exuberance lifted everybody, there's no doubt about that," he said.
Meanwhile, the 26-year-old is happy to have returned to action, but admits he "probably" needed the break.
"It was great to come on, he told Palace TV. "It was a good result for us, into the next round. So I'm looking forward to that, but not only that, I'm happy to be back on the pitch playing.
"It's been good, it's gone kind of quick to be honest. It was probably a much needed rest for myself. I've been playing a lot of football over the last 18 months for club and country, but I'm delighted to be back."