Bakary Sako came off the bench during the victory at Southampton on Tuesday evening and had an immediate impact as his pace unsettled the home defence and led Palace’s fightback as they matched a club top flight away record.
The 2-1 win equalled the club’s Premier League feat of five consecutive away matches unbeaten, set between the end of 2014 through to February 2015.
Sako came off the bench just past the hour mark and within five minutes the side were level and from there they never really looked back as their domination at that point of the match gave them a deserved victory,
“It’s a massive win for us tonight especially coming back to win 2-1 after being a goal down. The lads did fantastic to win and get us the three points," said Sako as he spoke of his delight to be back in first team action after missing the weekend home game through injury.
“I was fresh as I didn’t play against City so the gaffer wanted me to bring some energy into our play and thankfully I was able to do that and its very pleasing to be on the pitch as we turned the match around."
The victory takes the club to 14th in the Premier League and the goals from James McArthur and Luka Milivojevic provided a result which continues to show the development of the squad and Sako believes that it is a real team effort which has turned things around under the guidance of Roy Hodgson.
“The first goal was a good move and Maccer (James McArthur) is always in a good position to score so I was delighted when I saw the ball in the back of the net and we were on level terms. The second was good team play and quite a strike from Luka and after what happened against Man City we are all happy for him.
“I think we realise when we play as a team we can produce some great play and show our strengths across the pitch and as I have said before you have to give great credit to the gaffer because he has put into our heads every day in training what we should be doing and we have taken that into matches and our recent results show what that has meant for us.
“Personally speaking I owe so much to the boss, he has got me playing more central and I am happy playing in that position and I am only looking to improve and get the chance to contribute like I did tonight.”
The festive fixtures this season have not given much opportunity for breathing space for the players but bearing in mind the opposition they have come against Sako takes great confidence from their return of points achieved.
“We are in a good position and took four points out of nine in our last three including those home games against Arsenal and Man City so we are on a great run which has got us up to 14th position so that is really good for us all to see."
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