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First Team

Allardyce: Only The Start Of The Recovery

4 March 2017

Sam Allardyce believes that consecutive Premier League wins is just the start of Crystal Palace’s recovery after they moved out of the relegation zone after a fine 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion.

The Eagles managed to follow up their success against Middlesbrough a week earlier by beating the Baggies thanks to two fine goals from Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend, but Allardyce has suggested that the fight has only just begun with 11 games still remaining.

In his post-match press conference, he discussed:

The importance of the result: “Back-to-back wins is the start of our recovery and the performance, both in and out of possession, gave us the platform for victory. 

“That’s a great lift for us all because we’ve got both sides of the game right today with the basics in place, and we nullified the opposition’s attacks and limited them to very few chances on their own ground which kept the crowd quiet, then we punished them when we got the opportunity. My heart went in my mouth when Andros missed that chance when Ben Foster saved it after a beautiful ball in behind the centre-half, but Andros popped up with an outstanding goal.”

The goals: “We asked for better quality in the final third which came today thanks to two outstanding pieces of quality; firstly Wilfried’s goal with the diagonal, precision pass and then using his chest and bang – into the back of the net. 

“Then came the goal of our season; I don’t think anyone will beat that one. I don’t think anyone in the Premier League will beat that one today. Andros Townsend dribbling from his own half into the opposition box and that saw West Brom off at 2-0. I thought we might have to give him some oxygen after the run but he was alright!

Pressure easing: “All the players are working hard and they’re doing that without really knowing it. The pressure is coming off them and they’re relieving themselves of that which they’ve been under for most of this season. When you get results that pressure lifts and you’re running around with more freedom not realising how much more running you’re doing, and you’re enjoying it a little bit more. They deserve to enjoy what they did today.”

Central defenders: “What turns things around is clean sheets, and the three I’ve had have been clean sheet victories. Those two [Sakho and Tomkins] were really solid today. Mama hasn’t played for a long time but that’s his first two Premier League games this season so I’m just looking forward to him carrying on. James Tomkins hasn’t put a foot wrong so the security at the back gave us the platform to go on and win this game.”

Christian Benteke: “He wants to score and we want to give him a goal if we can. At the end of the day he’s happy that we’re winning but he’s extremely frustrated because he wants to score. He had his chance with the corner in the first half when he had a free header. It’s not easy to get too many chances here against West Brom so when you get them you have to take them.”

Patrick van Aanholt’s injury: “He’s twisted his ankle and hurt the ligaments - it doesn’t look too good. We’ve got two weeks off but I find it difficult to think he’ll be fit in two weeks, but it might be three.”

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