BY ANDREW MCSTEEN
Martin Kelly admitted that his introduction in Crystal Palace’s 2-0 defeat at Chelsea on Saturday was aided by having the half-time interval to warm up.
The 29-year-old made his seventh Premier League appearance of the season replacing Joel Ward, who hurt his groin late in the first half.
Kelly has been used more at centre-back than right-back when he has had action for the Eagles.
“I’ve not played there for quite a bit, but you’re always ready to come on at any given moment,” he said. “I had half time to go out and warm up that little bit extra.
“We knew they would have a lot of the ball the way that Frank [Lampard] has got them playing and we worked through the week on our gameplan.
“We’ve started the season off well but it was a tough game – they had a game plan and most of the ball.
“We worked our socks off and held our own right up until the end, so it was a difficult result to take. We wanted to come and give Chelsea a good go, but it wasn’t to be.”
Kelly’s side have taken one point from their last four league games – 2-2 away at Arsenal – with losses against Manchester City, Leicester and Chelsea. Next up is Kelly’s former club Liverpool, who beat Manchester City 3-1 on Sunday to move eight points clear at the top.
“We gave our all [against Chelsea] and now we have to rest up,” added Kelly. “Some of the lads will go away with their countries, but we’ve all got to get back and focus on our next game, another tough one, at home against Liverpool.”
PICTURE BY KEITH GILLARD