James Tomkins: Crystal Palace prep meant we knew exactly what to expect at Burnley

BY ROB SUTHERLAND

James Tomkins was delighted with Crystal Palace’s defensive performance as they kept a clean sheet at Burnley on Saturday.

The Eagles are 11th in the table after a fifth Premier League victory of the campaign.

“We expected a difficult game,” said Tomkins. “It was going to be physical, lots of crosses into the box, and it was just a matter of dealing with it,” he said.

“It’s a hard place to come and get a result and we’re leaving with three points which is a great result.

“We do tactical play [in training], and the manager is fully aware of their attributes and how they pose a threat. They’re always physical and they play two up front – not many teams do that.”

Tomkins reserved special praise for Wilfried Zaha, who scored the Eagles’ first goal.

“Teams are going to be at him because they know how much of a threat he is for us,” said the former West Ham centre-back.

“Teams get on his back – that’s how they get to him. He can only answer that by playing well on the pitch and scoring goals, like he did today.”

Tomkins has lined up with a number of different defensive partners in recent weeks.

He started alongside Scott Dann but an injury to the Liverpudlian saw Mamadou Sakho replace him.

“I’ve played enough with them all to know how they play, and to know the understanding we have,” he said.

“Scotty did well today but then unfortunately was injured.

“I’ve played with Mama time and time again. It’s nice to see him back again, because he’s been out for a while.”

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