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Ward: We've missed being able to salute fans

14 March 2021

Reacting to Crystal Palace's victory over West Bromwich Albion, Joel Ward expressed his satisfaction with the Eagles' recent performances and explained exactly why he wants fans to return to Selhurst this season.

Playing potentially just the fourth-last behind closed doors game in SE25 with the Premier League contemplating fixture rearrangements for the season's penultimate round, Ward revealed a personal reason for getting crowds into Selhurst again.

"It would be nice to do that," he said in an interview with Palace TV. "It would be nice personally for me to get my little boy to a game, really nice to have him come along - not that he’d know too much about what’s going on but it would be a nice feeling.

"To have the fans back would be special – to walk around at the end of the game and salute them is something we’ve missed being able to do."

Turning his attention to on-pitch matters, Ward reflected on Palace's recent defensive solidity, reacting to their third clean sheet in four games.

He suggested having a settled defensive line has supported such consistency: "Always, regardless of who plays, there’s a lot of experience within the squad.

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"It certainly helps when you have that time to play with one another and you can build a foundation and I think, from the front to the back, we’ve done that in the last games especially. We’ve put in some really dogged performances."

Those performances see Palace sit on 37 points after just 29 games. With almost three weeks between West Brom and their next clash, Everton, the Eagles have a chance to regroup, increase squad fitness and tackle the run-in for a strong finish.

Ward echoed a similar view, saying: "It’s now a case for us I believe to kick on and see how many points we can get.

"We’ve got the remaining games to do that and we’ve put ourselves in a great position to go on and attack these last nine games. It would be great to do that and finish the season strongly and continue to move up the table."

You can watch full highlights and post-match reaction from Palace v West Brom on Palace TV. Enjoy it all by clicking here or 'Palace TV' within the app!

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