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Pardew: It Was A Cracking Game

21 March 2015

Alan Pardew believed that the penalty late in the first half was a major factor in the game turning in Palace’s favour to give his side maximum points.

"The goal for us was crucial. I haven't seen it back and I think Stoke were unhappy with it. But it was a turning point - I thought we were good after that.

"I thought it was a cracking game today and that Stoke were good - in the first period we really struggled to stay with them.”

Alan had sympathy for the officials in a game that he agreed was a tough encounter to manage.

"I think it was a tough day for the officials in this game. I thought all of it was pretty fair, but tough - it was a tough, physical encounter, almost like a Six Nations rugby union match at times in terms of real aggression in the right way.

"The referee had a couple of calls to make and he was never going to get them all right because both sides were as aggressive as each other. But it made for the type of game it turned out to be."

Asked after the game about how the three points helped the club’s Premier League status he said there is still work to be done but the job is nearly done.

“It’s nearly safe, we probably need a couple more points but it’s the wins, nine wins this year I think will be enough so we just need to see it home now,”

“The form we are in, in patches we can be unplayable. At the end of the first half, we had a golden spell and we really could have run away with the game.

“The most important thing is Premier League status next year forget about anything else for this club because when we arrived we were in the relegation zone, we’ve done unbelievably well to get this point total and now it’s about seeing if we can maintain those standards.”

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