Eagles boss Alan Pardew was delighted that his side managed to pick up their first win of the season after a hard-fought 2-1 win against Middlesbrough.
He admitted in his post-match press conference that his side enjoyed a few breaks, but was pleased overall with the performance of his side. Here is what else he had to say in full:
On the game: “It was very similar to the other games that we’ve had in this division this year as it was so tight and the breaks went our way today. I was pleased with the first 20 minutes of each half and I felt that we controlled those periods, but then maybe because we hadn’t won for a while we sat back towards the end of the first-half.
“I sent them out early for the second half to just replicate what we did in the first and try and stay with it and we got a goal. At the end of the game we were hanging on against a very confident Boro; they didn’t look like a team that has just been promoted, they look better than that.”
On Boro’s handball appeals: “Handball is a strange one because when a ball is stuck in the box and a defender sticks his hand out as he knows he’s got beat, they’re cast-iron penalties, but these [today] had no intent. I think it’s difficult for the referee to call them; Scott Dann has kicked it and it’s hit his hand for sure, and he could have given it but he didn’t, and the second one I have to say I though he [Delaney] was trying to get his hand out of the way.
On Wilfried Zaha’s performance: “We started the last game without him because of the transfer situation but he was terrific today – not just the goal and the assist which I have been working with him on his defensive qualities today against George Friend who bombs up and down the line were exceptional.
On the importance of the win: “In terms of the context of this division we all know that the spotlight comes on you and it can affect your confidence. The importance for us is to give us a little bit more confidence in ourselves because we shouldn’t have got ourselves in the position we did against Bournemouth, we managed to get ourselves out of it but we shouldn’t have gotten there.”
On Christian Benteke’s first goal: “I think it’s very important for a striker to get that first goal, and as soon as the cross came in you knew – I don’t think any defender can defend against him in that position when he’s coming on the back of you like that. It’s almost impossible to defend.”