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Pardew: First Goal Was Turning Point

24 September 2016

Alan Pardew revealed in his post-match press conference that once Palace got one goal against Sunderland, they would take something from the match despite being 2-0 down.

Two Jermain Defoe goals had put the hosts in firm control of the game, but 60 seconds later Joe Ledley pulled one back, and from that point the Eagles boss knew that his team would get something, with goals from James McArthur and Christian Benteke sealing a famous win.

Here are the talking points from his press conference:

The game: “We’re playing a style where we have chances and we’re playing with such confidence that I couldn’t see us making any mistakes at the back. The final third was an area that we’ve worked a lot on so when Joe [Ledley] made that mistake it was really galling as we had played so well. 

“The second goal was probably Sunderland’s best spell – I think it was offside by the way – so I was stood on the sidelines scratching my head, wondering how we were going to get this back. Without any thought process it was 2-1 and then I really felt confident that we could get something out of the game.”

The impact of his substitutes: “It was difficult to put seven or eight guys into the team [in midweek], it was almost as though they were playing their first game. They didn’t play well at Southampton, but when you put them in that team out there today they’re more confident and they looked fine. 

“Connor made a difference when he came on, Zeki created a goal and so did Chungy, and it shows the margins that playing in a confident side can have. It was a terrific victory for us in the end which looked like being a defeat.”

Zeki Fryers: “Zeki is a player that we have kind of rebuilt, he was struggling last year and his confidence was low, but we’ve built him up in pre-season. He has a great left foot and his only problem is in his mind, and when he gets that focused he’s OK, and it is at the moment. That was our nicest moment today - that he created that goal. We gave him a little cheer and a clap after and he’ll be all the better for that.”

Sunderland: “I thought they played some decent stuff today, Januzaj was a problem for us and Jermain got the two goals which is typical of him. You think there is a team to work with there for David and probably the quick response from us when they went 2-0 up affected their mentality a little bit and that’s natural. Any victory will change that.”

Start to the season: “The margin between us and the top teams is not that great and you’d have to include Everton, Southampton and a few others in that. We’re all pushing and jostling, and for us 10 points is a great total. We can go to Everton now and if my team play like that today, I’ll be overjoyed as I think we would get something.”

Change in fortunes: “Everyone keeps leaning on last year and no-one knew those stats more than us, that’s why we changed the squad. The chairman and his backing has been tremendous for me and we now look like we have goals in the team. 

“We would never have scored three goals in the second half of last season but Christian and a bit of confidence in the group has changed that. I thought Townsend was going to get the winner when he cut inside, it was unusual for him to miss in that situation. It was a great win for us and I’m chuffed.”

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