Alan Pardew had the perfect start to his managerial career at Crystal Palace as his side came from behind to take all three points and win 2-1 against an in-form Tottenham Hotspur.
“The first half was not what the Palace fans or myself wanted, they dominated for the first twenty minutes particularly but we took the shackles off at half time. To be honest this is something I have been trying to do all week. This team is one that has a real discipline but you also need to have some maverick behaviour in there, otherwise you are never going to win. The couple of subs helped us as I had the chance to put a couple of maverick players on that gave us a lift but in the end the honesty and discipline of the team got us through. There are so many highlights for me from this game that it's one that will stay for me forever.”
After that first period a half time decision was made to replace Barry Bannan as a tactical switch sent on a midfielder who has just returned from his loan spell at Watford.
“Barry Bannan had been booked and I think he was struggling a little bit with Dembele's power and I thought Adlene Guedioura had shown me this week what he could do, he is able to do something that you don't expect and I thought that might help us today. He had power out there for us and had a big influence on the game. I also added Wilfried Zaha into the match and we all know he can play and at time where people were tired he caused havoc and could have scored himself to have given us a third goal.”
The winning goal came through Jason Puncheon as he got on the end of Zaha's cross and it is a player the manager knows from his time down on the south-coast.
“Jason Puncheon has had a poor week with behaviour that was unacceptable, he needed to show us, in the only way he can as a footballer, what it means to a player at this club and he went out on the pitch and did it with the perfect response. He gave a man of the match performance and his technical ability is phenomenal. I am so pleased I gave him an opportunity at Southampton and the opposition manager today made him a much better player than when I had him and now I inherit what is a Premier League wide player. He goes away with the plaudits and deserves it, he was brilliant today.”
Alan received a great welcome from the home fans before the game on his return to Selhurst Park but he was even happier to see the smiling faces and hear the cheers post match.
“You have done nothing before a game but the stadium was rocking at the end and rightly so. You can only have lovely moments with the supporters when you win and at the end of this game we know it is only a swallow, flown in giving us a beautiful feeling but it doesn't make a summer so lots to do yet but a good start.”