Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway believes watching England boss Roy Hodgson will have left Selhurst Park impressed following Wilfried Zaha's starring role in Saturday afternoon's 4-1 win over promotion rivals Middlesbrough.

Hodgson was in the crowd to run the rule over Zaha, and the 12million Manchester United-bound winger was instrumental as Palace cruised to victory to boost their chances of a top-two finish in the npower Championship.

"In front of the England manager, I thought Wilf was excellent," Holloway said. "We have a few who make a difference. He is one of them. This was as good as he has played since I have been here. He is literally as good as any chef I have seen. And he has roasted their full-backs all day and they will be glad to see the back of him."

He added: "I thought we moved the ball too slowly in the first half and told them that at half-time. I told them they were boring me.

"We upped the pace of doing things. We are getting stronger and the challenge is, can we get another 14 of them (wins)? That would be good, wouldn't it? We have to aim for the stars."

Middlesbrough looked all at sea from the off and fell behind to Glenn Murray's first goal of the afternoon after nine minutes, turning in Zaha's cross. Peter Ramage then fired home from close range in the 47th minute.

Boro's afternoon went from bad to worse when they fell further behind, Murray curling home from 25 yards with 57 minutes on the clock. The visitors got themselves on the scoresheet late on with Faris Haroun sliding home in the 80th minute.

But that was not the end of the scoring, as substitute Kevin Phillips added to Boro's woes in the dying minutes. Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray said: "We didn't get started. If we are looking for reasons, the amount we put in against Leeds in such a physical game (1-0 win on Tuesday) appears to have taken it out of some.

"That appears to be the case. But there are no excuses. Individual errors cost us for the goals. We knew they had talented forward players going forward. But my players are sitting there disappointed.

"We are capable of winning matches. We have to get back to our old form, but at the moment that seems a long way away. Three of our back four are out at the moment, but we have to get on with it. Justin Hoyte, Jonathan Woodgate and Seb Hines are injured and we have to take it on the chin."