Tuesday 25 October 2016

Baggies boosted by vital win

Published 19/04/2015 | 13:41

West Brom's Craig Gardner, right, celebrates his wonder goal against Crystal Palace
West Brom's Craig Gardner, right, celebrates his wonder goal against Crystal Palace

Craig Gardner hailed a "massive" win for West Brom at Crystal Palace on Saturday as the Baggies eased their relegation fears.

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The midfielder scored a spectacular strike as former Palace boss Tony Pulis enjoyed a 2-0 win on his first return to Selhurst Park.

The Welshman left Palace on the eve of the new season and has since taken over at the Hawthorns - with three points in south London crucial having seen his side lose their last three in the Premier League.

But Gardner, whose trademark second-half goal added to James Morrison's early header, knows the job is still not yet complete even if West Brom now sit eight points clear of the bottom three.

"Yes, it's massive," he said when asked about the importance of the victory.

"The gaffer has given us the target of 40 points and we will be disappointed if we don't hit that.

"We had two or three bad results on the spin and it's nice to get a win over the line after those. We were expecting what they brought with us and we dealt really well with it."

Gardner revealed the set-piece which led to Morrison heading home in the second minute came straight from the training ground as he now looks to add to his own tally for the season.

"It was a start that we worked on all week in training and it has worked perfectly," he added.

On the goal he scored, Gardner added: "It was nice to catch one like that, over the years I've caught a couple of sweet ones and I usually get a couple in a season so I'm waiting for another one now."

For Palace, their fine run of form may have come to an abrupt end but Scott Dann, who was signed by Pulis in January 2014, insists the squad will dust themselves down and look to go again at home to relegation-threatened Hull next weekend.

"We've been on a great run," he told Palace's official website.

"We've come into the game high on confidence and we felt we were going to get the three points today.

"We conceded the early goal which was a big setback for us and we couldn't get back into the game but these things happen in the Premier League.

"We've got to pick ourselves up and move onto the next one, and take the confidence we gained from the last four wins into the last five games."

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