Thursday, May 25, 2017
The Great Escape is on for Crystal Palace – Sam Allardyce on...

The Great Escape is on for Crystal Palace – Sam Allardyce on going into the international break on a high

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Scott Dann celebrates Photo: Keith Gillard Crystal Palace v Watford, Premier League, Selhurst Park, 18 March 2017. Image by Keith Gillard

Sam Allardyce said his Crystal Palace players are showing incredible resilience  after earning another precious victory against a stubborn Watford side. Troy Deeney’s second-half own-goal from Yohan Cabaye’s inswinging free-kick settled a tight, scrappy affair. 

On Watford’s defensive approach:

“Every game we play at the moment cannot be deemed as easy. We were playing against a huge side with ability and a lot of strength. They beat Arsenal away recently so they’re no mugs. For us, today was about matching that strength and toughing it out while creating that bit of quality to win the game. That quality came on a couple of occasions before Yohan’s (Cabaye) free-kick and a few times after the goal. The whole team is working very hard out of possession to nullify the opposition’s strengths which we did brilliantly today. We waited patiently for the opportunity to score and got what we deserved by a quality ball from Yohan. It wasn’t pretty at times today but the fans got behind us as usual, kept us going in a tight game, and really enjoyed the goal when it came.”

“The away team always comes to be secure defensively and make life difficult for you. If I was the opposing manager you would look at our home record and say frustrate Palace because they’ve overcommitted in previous home games and been hit on the counterattack. But thankfully today we didn’t let them get their counterattacks off and even though they did frustrate us for long periods our patience paid off.”
Sam Allardyce
Crystal Palace v Watford, Premier League, Selhurst Park, 18 March 2017.
Image by Keith Gillard

On the great escape:

“It’s on because we’ve won three on the trot and four out of the last six. We’ve made the team and squad better with the new signings. Some of the players are disappointed because they’re not getting a lot of game time but the players are picking themselves at the moment. It’s a nice thing for me to look at the team and say why change, that’s been the case for the last three games because we’ve only been forced to make tweaks due to injuries. Prior to this I was making changes every week to find a solution and get a result. The resilience of the team is very, very good at the moment. Now we’ve started putting excellent performances together and picking up points at home which has not been easy. Our home form has been far worse than our away form. But we’ve produced excellent performances in our last two home games and hopefully we can continue that until the end of the season.” 

On the international break and Chelsea away:

“We wanted to go into the international break on a high and we’ve done that. Hopefully none of our players come back with any injuries so we can pick up where left off.  We have it all planned out for the players who will be left back here as it’s out third time on a two-week break since February. They’ll have some time to spend with their families and build up their mental resilience for the small matter of Chelsea away in a fortnight’s time. We can look forward to that game now because of what we’ve done and give it our best shot. Nobody expects us to win but we’ll try to play our best and if that’s enough to get a result that would be great.”

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The Great Escape is on for Crystal Palace – Sam Allardyce on...