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Ward Targeting Manchester City Upset

25 April 2014

Palace defender Joel Ward is eager to get a result against Manchester City on Sunday – and right the wrongs of their previous meeting in December last year. 

The title-chasing Citizens edged out Tony Pulis’ side 1-0 just before the turn of the year, but the Eagles were unlucky not to take something from the game.

Ward, who was playing in a central midfield role that day, twice went close to grabbing an equaliser, first seeing his stinging volley kept out superbly by man of the match Joe Hart, before heading just wide from the resulting corner kick (pictured above).

City come to Selhurst Park in desperate need of a victory to keep their title aspirations alive, but the 24-year-old full back is just as keen to take all three points and extend Palace’s incredible winning run to six matches.

“I think in the first game at their place we were unfortunate maybe not to come away with at least a point really,” Ward said. 

“We had a few good chances late on, but if we can prepare like we have in any other game and make sure we look after ourselves and prepare right, at the end of the day it’s 11 against 11 on the pitch and anything can happen. 

“We want to continue our form right until the end of the season.”

The Eagles’ five-match winning streak is the club’s best for 22 years – and City will be wary that it began with a memorable victory over fellow title chaser Chelsea at Selhurst Park. 

Ward pointed to the team’s superb spirit and togetherness as the reason for their outstanding recent form. 

“We’ve stuck together and we’ve gone out there knowing that we’ve got each other’s backs,” he said. 

“I think that speaks volumes and that sometimes picks up results in itself. We all know that we will go the extra yard for each other.

“It brings a bit of belief into the squad knowing that we can rely on the guys next to us or just in front of us to help each other out.”

Palace have taken 39 points from 24 games since manager Pulis took charge in November and Ward was full of praise for the way the Welshman has transformed the team’s fortunes. 

“Since the gaffer’s come in we’ve had an incredible run of form, defensively and attackingly,” Ward said. 

“The last five games have been incredible – no one would have thought that at the start of the season and also our record of keeping clean sheets as well speaks for itself.

“The gaffer’s come in and completely transformed the squad and how we go about our jobs.”

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