Sport Soccer

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Adrian hails new formation after faltering start to season

Published 16/10/2016 | 12:06

Adrian (right) celebrates after Christian Benteke (centre) misses a penalty
Adrian (right) celebrates after Christian Benteke (centre) misses a penalty

West Ham goalkeeper Adrian admitted a change of system, and a change of mindset, was responsible for their 1-0 win at Crystal Palace.

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The under-pressure Hammers travelled to south London lying second from bottom, without a win in five matches and with one of the worst defensive records in the Premier League.

Yet a switch to a three-man defence paid dividends as they hung on to Manuel Lanzini's 19th-minute goal to secure three much-needed points.

"It's very important to keep a clean sheet because if you score one goal, like we did, you win three points," Spaniard Adrian told the club's website.

"It is a change of our mind. We need to start winning games and getting points because we want to climb the table.

"This system worked for us. Every game is different and we went with this one, and luckily for us it worked."

West Ham rode their luck at Selhurst Park, not least when Christian Benteke missed a penalty and moments later saw a header hit the post.

They also had to play out the last 20 minutes a man down after Aaron Cresswell's controversial red card, and were indebted to Adrian in stoppage time for a point-blank save to deny Connor Wickham.

"We fought until the end with one player less, which was very difficult because they pushed and their fans pushed a lot," he added.

"We defended so well until the last minute and finally we got the win, and it's a massive three points for us.

"It would have probably changed the game if he'd scored the penalty, but he missed and we continued fighting in the second half, and I think we deserved the win."

For Palace it was a first defeat in six matches and manager Alan Pardew was not happy with their sluggish start.

"Maybe we thought it would be an afternoon for us where it all went well, that can happen when you've been winning," he said.

"Forget about shapes and systems, we missed the boat in that first 20 minutes and it was difficult from there."

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