Gary Cahill reveals one thing Crystal Palace should take real pride in

BY SAM SMITH

Gary Cahill feels Crystal Palace should take pride in their run of successive games without conceding a goal.

The defender returned to the starting 11 in Saturday’s goalless draw against Watford having missed the previous two matches because of an ankle injury.

He made two crucial interceptions late on to deny Hornets forward Ismaila Sarr a tap in. It follows Tuesday’s 1-0 win against AFC Bournemouth and last Saturday’s 2-0 success at Burnley.

Cahill, 33, told Palace TV: “That’s seven points in three games and three clean sheets – that’s something to be proud of.

“As a unit we are working for each other and we are reaping the rewards. It has been a strange three games. [There have been] so many different circumstances at the back with different changes – from having everyone fit and available to having changes left, right and centre.

“We’ve adapted well, which is great. It was a little scrappy at times, and it was a battle. They made it tough and we were slightly disappointed with our performance first half so it’s important we went out in the second half and upped the tempo a little bit. We played in their half more second half.”

The South Londoners are unbeaten in three matches. Cahill’s return to the side is a welcome boost for boss Roy Hodgson – who now has Jeffrey Schlupp added to a list of defensive absentees.

Cahill said: “I’m feeling good. It was good to get back out there. I had a couple of days training, so fitness-wise I felt alright.

“I am disappointed we went away without the win but I’m happy with the minutes I played in the second-half.

“I just like to play football. Whenever I’m on the pitch I give my all, whether I’m playing or not playing. The manager noticed it and he talked to me about my competition. I’m very happy at this club, I’m in a good place and the team is helping me and always talking positive to me. Hopefully there is more minutes for me this season.

“It’s difficult because you know what they [Watford] want to do – they want to play aggressive and they need the points, so they were playing long balls, fighting with us and talking to the referee.

“It was a hard battle but we fought well. I’m happy with the point.”

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