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Ward on "sucker blow" of a defeat to the Blades

1 February 2020

Joel Ward's first start since the 23rd November looked like it might be ending early when the referee issued a straight red to the full-back. However, after a pitchside monitor review, the challenge was downgraded to a yellow card.

Discussing that moment, Ward revealed he knew right away it wasn't a tackle worthy of a straight red: "He [the ref] could’ve stuck to his guns. I don’t think it was a red card from my first thought and nowadays you have to linger around because there’s always that chance it will get overturned."

Despite the result not being one that Palace wanted, Ward was pleased to complete his first 90 minutes since Liverpool visited Selhurst Park. Analysing the game, Ward said: "Bitter one to take. It’s unfortunate in the way the goal has gone in. It’s a sucker blow. For a large majority of the game we dictated play and played well – there were a couple of balls that went firing across the goal line and there just wasn’t that final finish to slot it over the line."

The Palace defender went further in explaining why the Eagles have now lost 1-0 twice to the Blades this season. He said: "The way they get back in to shape and how organised they’re – there’s plenty of evidence out there of what they do, the stats and how well they’ve done this season.

"Being well-drilled and well-organised is definitely an asset for them."

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