Crystal Palace matchwinner Jordan Ayew: I don’t have a problem being subbed

BY SAM SMITH

Jordan Ayew was unaware that he was about to be substituted just before he struck the winning goal for Crystal Palace against Aston Villa on Saturday.

Roy Hodgson had prepared Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend to enter the game shortly after the 70-minute mark, with the Eagles boss confirming afterwards that Ayew was going to be of one of those to make way.

But the Ghanaian wriggled free of Tyrone Mings and Jack Grealish before finishing well into the bottom corner against his former side in the 73rd minute.

It was his second goal in two games, which doubles his Premier League tally from last season.
Ayew said: “I didn’t see [players ready to come on]. I wasn’t paying attention to that,” said the 27-year-old.

Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings (left) and Crystal Palace’s Jordan Ayew battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.

“We are a team as a squad, and obviously the manager has chosen a shape that is a 4-3-3 where there is only one striker.

“If I had to come off, I had to come off. The manager knows what is best for the team. I do not have any problem with that.”

The 1-0 victory against the Villains follows a 2-1 success over Manchester United last weekend. Palace are in good form but face the prospect of an international break interfering with their good start to the season.

“They [international breaks] are part of the football calendar. We don’t know if it’s a good time, we will see when we resume whether it is a good time or not. To those who go away as internationals, I wish them good luck.

“I just need to do the job on the pitch. Last season was a very difficult year but in football that happens. The club had faith in me, I came back this year with ambitions and positivity.

“I thank god and the people who are supporting me, because last season wasn’t easy. I kept working hard. It’s just starting to pay off, I will now just keep working hard.

“The most important thing for me is to work hard and help the team to win. Obviously, if I chip in with some goals then that is a positive for me.

“We are not Arsenal or Manchester City where every game you are going to have 10 chances to score, we are fighters. Each year we are just hoping to keep improving slowly.”

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