Before each home game, Eagles skipper Scott Dann previews his side's upcoming match in his programme notes. Here he speaks ahead of the visit of Sunderland.
It was great to get the win at Bournemouth which was the first victory under our belts since the new manager has come in.
From a personal point of view, scoring the opening goal was the icing on the cake but the three points was the most important thing. It’s always nice to chip in with the odd goal and it felt as though it had been quite a long time since I scored, so it was
nice to contribute to the win.
Another big plus was getting the clean sheet which we had been wanting for a number of games now. Being solid as team was the plan beforehand, but with Wilf back and Patrick coming in there’s a lot more pace in the side and we knew that
if we worked hard on our defensive shape then we could get ourselves upfield and cause them problems, and we did that.
Hopefully that’s the result that can turn our season around. Now we have to take the belief from that game to grow in confidence individually and as a team, and if we do that then we should be able to put a few more points on the board and
go on a run.
This week also saw the closure of the transfer window and I think we’ve made some good signings. We probably needed some reinforcements and the manager and chairman have been working hard to get the right people in, which is always tough
in January. Despite that, we’ve spent some money and managed to bring in four quality players who are going to compete with the ones already here, rather than just make up the numbers. That will keep everyone on their toes and make sure that we have to perform week in, week out to stay in the
It’ll also help having Wilf back in the team following the Africa Cup of Nations as he’s probably been the standout player for us this season, and you realise that when he’s not in the team. He showed on Tuesday night how important he is for us and if we keep him firing, things will be looking up.
It was a great, solid win at Bournemouth but that means nothing if we don’t follow that up with a win today against Sunderland with both of us fighting for our Premier League status. We need to sort out our home form and hopefully the momentum and winning feeling from midweek can carry through to this afternoon and get us a massive three points.
Having the manager here now could be an advantage as he’ll know a lot about their squad, and I’m sure he’ll be passing on that expertise to us ahead of kick-off. Since he left, they’ve got a new manager and different ideas, but there’s a lot of players still there from his time, and he’ll know a lot about them.
At the end of the day though, it’s down to us and if we perform to the standard that we did on Tuesday and show togetherness when we need to, our own game should get us the right result.
Don't forget the 88 page matchday programme will be available around the stadium on the day of the match, priced just £3.50, or can be download to your iPad or Android device for just £1.49.