Cahill shares warning on Crystal Palace run-in
Gary Cahill expressed his satisfaction with Crystal Palace's victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday afternoon, but also warned that the team must approach the run-in with the right attitude to ensure a strong end to the season.
Cahill described the game as "not pretty but effective," explaining that three points stand Palace in good stead for the international break.
When they return, he said, they must be prepared for a challenge: "The motivation is to really push and look up as high as we can. We found it difficult when we came back after lockdown last season so hopefully that won’t be the case [after the break this season].
"We’ve got some tough games, though, when we come back. The run-in is not easy so we need to be focused and we need to be ready to finish as high as we possibly can."
However, Cahill added: "We’re getting players back from injury, getting a bit of consistency - not only in games but in training, being able to get everybody back on the field. That’s helped, definitely.
"We’re pleased with three clean sheets out of four – it’s where I want to be, certainly, as a defender, and it gives us a good platform to build on."
Focusing more closely on the West Brom game itself, Cahill analysed a tactic teammate Luka Milivojevic also drew upon, saying: "We knew we were coming up against a team who are fighting for their lives and are very direct in terms of dead-ball situations and throw-ins and they kept the ball in our box regularly.
"Thirty-seven points is a decent return for us so we’re pleased with that going in to the international break. At times it’s not going to be pretty – it was very windy and anywhere from the halfway line, their dead-ball situations are very dangerous and organised and they put the ball in the box and make it difficult for you.
"[It was] one game where we needed to dig in and defend well. We tried to create our own chances on the break but the main thing for us today certainly was getting back to winning ways and getting three points. We’re delighted with the result."
Fortunately, the Eagles took and kept the lead through Milivojevic's first-half penalty. The captain came close to scoring seconds before with a well-struck volley too but, as ever, made no mistake from the spot.
Cahill explained how he feels when Milivojevic steps-up from 12 yards: "I always feel confident when he’s on the ball for a penalty, definitely. He’s got a good conversion rate so thankfully we got the pen and he put it away and gave us a platform to go on and get the result."
You can watch full highlights and post-match reaction from Palace v West Brom on Palace TV. Keep an eye out by clicking here or 'Palace TV' within the app!