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Tomkins Hails Defensive Display

5 December 2016

James Tomkins was relieved with Palace's convincing 3-0 victory over Southampton at the weekend and was quick to praise his teammates after a solid defensive display.

"It was a massive relief," the defender told Palace TV. "It's not just the way we won, it's the clean sheet as well - that was massive for us. The lads are all to take credit for that, it's not just the back four, five including the keeper, it was the whole way through the team that we defended well. We needed a bit of luck, we were due a bit, and obviously we got that with the first goal, that took us on our way."

Christian Benteke opened the scoring for the Eagles, capitalising on a mistake by Saints goalkeeper Fraser Forster to roll the ball over the line, before Tomkins doubled the advantage and Benteke added the third to mark his 26th birthday with a brace.

"I come into every game knowing that we're going to score goals, it's just at the other end where we've got to stop them going in and [against Southampton] we had goals in abundance and kept a clean sheet, it was a nice little balance," said Tomkins.

"Southampton was an absolutely massive game and this week's is just as big and we've got the big boys coming up. We need to take each game as it comes and take the confidence from this result to Hull."

Saturday saw a defensive re-shuffle, with Tomkins moving from centre-back to right back and Damien Delaney partnering captain Scott Dann in the middle and the result was Palace's first clean sheet of the Premier League season.

"Physically it's very different to playing centre-back," Tomkins said of his change in position. "Towards the end I was getting a bit tired, it's a completely different scenario. I've played there before but to play there for the first time this year was a bit different for me. I'm happy to play anywhere for the team and it's nice to have chipped in with a goal as well!"

For more post-match reaction CLICK HERE.

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