Sam Allardyce was full of praise for his players as he admitted that they executed their gameplan to perfection which allowed them to beat Bournemouth 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium.
The victory was his first in the Premier League and the Eagles gaffer was delighted with the result, as well as the performance that also yielded a first clean sheet of his tenure, and give a confidence boost going into a crucial home game against Sunderland on Saturday.
In his post-match press conference, he talked about a number of issues, including:
The win: “I think the gameplan today was executed exceptionally well, and we cut out the silly errors that we have been suspect to recently while being clinical in front of goal. Nullifying Bournemouth on their own ground was the key area for me where they had very little opportunity in front of goal, and it would have been a big slip by us if Bournemouth were going to score tonight and we didn’t make it, hence we won comfortably in the end.
“I think that our work and efforts on and off the field is what our recovery will be all about. The players have listened to some slight changes on an ongoing basis and working around different ideas to help them perform better and get results.”
Wilfried Zaha: “When you defend, you defend as an 11, and when you attack you also do it as an 11. If you don’t do that in the Premier League, results will go more against you than for you. Coming back from the Africa Cup of Nations and the shift he’s put in today for the team, as has everyone, is the key element why we won 2-0. Wilf got his rewards for all his hard work out of possession by the amount of quality ball that we got to him and in the end we scored two very good goals.”
Final stages of the transfer window: “My phone is buzzing in my pocket so I’ll check in with Steve as soon as I get on the coach to see if there is anything we can do in the last 50 minutes. If there is it should be well on its way – we have been trying to sign a couple of players but whether we’ve managed it I don’t know. I think Kone is a possibility, as well as Sakho from Liverpool, but I don’t know quite how we’ve got on there because we know they’re available, but whether we’ve secured them or not I don’t know.”
Window closing on a matchday: “The hard bit for everyone has been the distraction; I had a player who asked me today if I had put him up for sale so that’s what you get when you get this godforsaken window; you’re getting players told information that’s not true and sometimes it has some validity in it, but when you’re going into such a big game and a player is asking if we’re trying to sell him, that shows you just how bad this window is and putting a game on the last day of it.”
Luka Milivojevic: “He’s a defensive midfield player with great ability with both feet and is a really good passer. I’m not sure that Yohan and Punch’s roles are in that sitting position - they did exceptional today, but this lad loves to play there and sees it has his main position. There’s no guarantee he’s going to jump straight into the Premier League and be fantastic – we hope he is – but I’m looking forward to working with him and getting him up to speed as quick as we can.”