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First Team

Kelly: We Can Take The Positives

8 December 2017

Martin Kelly was part of the back four that helped the Eagles to a clean sheet against West Bromwich last Saturday as the side extended their unbeaten run to four games.

Now into December The Eagles head into a busy schedule of games and now look forward to home matches within four days of each other against Bournemouth on Saturday, followed quickly with the visit of Watford on Tuesday evening.

The 27 year old defender believes the confidence that the run has given the squad is evident in the performances of late and as a group need to build on the positives.

“Getting the point on the road keeps our momentum going with the busy period of Christmas and New Year fixtures coming up so we are playing well and know that we have positives to take from our performances.

“We look solid throughout the team and creating chances so we can look back on the point last week as a good one and will be looking to push on. Going forward as a group we have a positivity about us that we can move forward together.”

During his six years at Anfield, Kelly played under Roy Hodgson and has been impressed with how the experienced manager has made the transition of the group from being rooted at the bottom of the table to a side with one eye on moving out of the bottom three.

“Roy is a world class manager and he has proved that over the years so for him to come in and manage a group of lads who were struggling for any kind of form it is really down to him and his coaching staff for the way he has put his mark on the way we are playing and the performances have shown the way we have taken on board the message is he trying to get across to us on a daily basis.”

Kelly made his second Premier League appearance of the season at the Hawthorns last Saturday whilst being out of the side he has been hoping for his chance although admits the waiting game is a frustrating one.

“At the start of the season we added defensively and it was difficult not to play for some of the games but as a professional you have to do as much as you can on the training field, be ready when the time comes along and show the team that they can count on you and I really enjoyed having the chance and it was good to be back out there playing.

“It is frustrating not to be playing every week but we are here as professionals at the top because we know how to deal with those situations and you have to know the manager has faith in you, which I know he has because he has managed me before, and when he selected me last weekend he spoke to me and said he had complete confidence in me and knowing that as a player is good and I was ready to take my chance.”

Both teams come into the game having only tasted defeat once in the last five matches with a chance for Hodgson’s side to close the gap with only five points separating them but Kelly knows the home side will be adopting the normal principals and hoping for the advantage of playing in front of their fans to count.

“There is no game in the Premier League that you think we are home so we should win this one today but what we do want to do is take what we have been doing in training into the game against Bournemouth and put on a good performance for our fans. We know that they are a good side but only a few points above us and the bottom half from tenth downwards is quite tight so from our point of view we need to get as many points as possible.

“All we can do is prepare at the start of the week for the game we have coming up, which is what we do, and then treat the opposition with respect and take our game plan into the match knowing as a group of players we have the ability to win games and its always an added bonus to be playing at Selhurst with our fans who for ninety minutes back us to the hilt every week.”

Watch the full interview with Martin Kelly or if you are viewing on the App go to Palace TV and into the video channel. 

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