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Delaney: We Must Build On Win

9 December 2016

Damien Delaney has hailed Palace's "important" result against Southampton, but insists that the work is far from over as the Eagles head to Hull on Saturday.

"It was important. I think at one point we were 7th or 8th in the league and to drop right down to above the relegation zone on goal difference – it was important to stop that," the defender said. "A draw would have been an okay result, to be honest with you. Just to stop that run of defeats. Everyone showed up, I thought we played really, really well and probably deserved the three points."

The 3-0 victory over the Saints ended a six-game run of defeats.

"After one or two [defeats] you start feeling down and then after five you start thinking: “hang on a minute now, this is getting ridiculous!” It was important that we did stop that run, but there’s always a good spirit in our team, there always is," said Delaney. 

"We’ve got some great lads, some great characters, some really good, funny lads – when the chips are down, they’re the people who really will stand up."

The win also saw Palace collected a first clean sheet of the season, a statistic which was gnawing away at the Irishman.

"That was being talked about quite a lot, which was jarring on me quite a bit," he admitted. "We had to get that out of the way. To get the first one is a start, now hopefully we can get a few more out the way as the season rolls on."

Delaney put in a massive performance against the Saints, in a game where the Eagles were defensively far more impressive than they have in recent weeks.

"The good things against Southampton we need to build on," he said. "There were some things we did which weren’t so great, but the intensity level, keeping that up in training and keep it boiling along nicely [is important]. We’ve had a good week’s training as well."

Delaney was then asked about the manager's impact on the squad, revealing that Alan Pardew has pulled the club forward off the pitch more than any of his predecessors.

"All the managers I’ve had here have been really, really good, but the gaffer has taken the club into a different level of professionalism," he said. "The way the training ground has changed, the stadium has changed, the pitches and the staff have changed, all the support staff as well – he’s the one who has really brought us in line with where we should be. Things that we as players have been asking for years. He’s got it done and credit to him and the chairman Steve Parish for doing it.

"He’s a big personality and he’s a likeable guy. He’s good with his players behind closed doors, he’s very good in terms of speaking to his players and keeping people going. Maybe some people don’t see that side of him, but he really is good at that and I think that definitely garners the respect you’re talking about."

The defender is often seen as a natural leader on the pitch, barking orders and leading by example through brave, gutsy displays. But when asked whether he's the leader in the dressing room, Delaney felt differently.

"No. No, not at all. I think there’s a lot of big personalities in this changing room, I just slide in nicely. Obviously you have to put up with the odd comment from the younger lads, asking me when I’m going to die of old age, but other than that the lads are pretty good with me!" He laughed.

Saturday sees Delaney return to a former club in Hull City, but despite the good times he enjoyed there he insists his focus is purely on a Palace win.

"I’ve been back there quite a few times. The fans are always all right with me as well," he said. "I had a great six years there and did some great things. Moving from Boothferry Park to the KC Stadium was part of that, so going back to the KC is always special for me, because I always remember where the club was before. 

"It’s a fantastic club, it’s a big club with really, really loyal fans, but obviously I want the three points on Saturday. If we don’t go and get a result there then it makes last Saturday for nothing."

To watch the full video interview with Damo CLICK HERE.


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