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First Team

Defensive Strength Is Key

4 April 2017

The recent unbeaten run has seen just one goal conceded in the last four games, a stat that Sam Allardyce has always said would be needed if they were to be successful in the attempt at maintaining the club's top flight status. 

The goals conceded column was one that he has played particular attention to and is now delighted to see his words being put into action on the pitch as the defensive performances have played a major role in the turn around in fortune. 

"When I first arrived the key element was to stop the goals going in but for a length of time we were still continuing to concede. We had to go into the market in January to solve that problem and looking at the players that have arrived they all have a defensive side to their game." Allardyce said as he looked ahead to the next match at Southampton in a congested fixture calendar. 

From his debut against Middlesbrough one of those January signings, Mamadou Sakho, has played a major role, wasting no time in settling into his new club. 

"The leadership from the back is very important and Mamadou Sakho has been at the heart of that on and off the pitch and of course on Saturday we saw Wayne Hennessey make 11 saves in a game, higher than the normal number for a Premier League game so a great effort from him as well. 

"Every team that doesn’t concede goals stands a chance to win games, whether they are dominating or not in the match, Chelsea dominated most of the game, but because our defensive work was so good, we were able to maximise  possession on the day. 

"Our latest injuries will test the squad but we do have replacements to come in and our real focus is to go to Southampton and continue our undefeated run.  

"We now have more points than games played with 31 from 29 and that is always a good place to be when in our position in the table."

CLICK HERE to watch the pre-match press conference. 

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