Saturday 10 December 2016

Delaney predicts good times ahead

Published 09/08/2015 | 22:38

Crystal Palace got their season off to a winning start at Norwich
Crystal Palace got their season off to a winning start at Norwich

Crystal Palace captain Damien Delaney has warned the Eagles are ready to ruffle some more feathers in the Barclays Premier League this season.

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Alan Pardew's men picked up where they left off in May with another impressive away display in a hard-fought 3-1 victory at newly-promoted Norwich.

After weathering early pressure from the hosts, when Canaries striker Lewis Grabban missed from inside the six-yard box, Palace went ahead through Wilfried Zaha just before the break and then doubled their lead when Delaney knocked the ball in at the far post following a well-worked corner.

Palace, though, then had to dig in when substitute Nathan Redmond pulled a goal back before Cameron Jerome saw what would have been an equaliser chalked off by Premier League debutant referee Simon Hooper, who called a foul against the striker for a high boot.

The visitors made sure of an opening-day victory when Yohan Cabaye, a £10million summer signing from Paris St Germain, slotted in a third goal during stoppage time.

Arsenal are next up at Selhurst Park, with fixtures against both Chelsea and Manchester City also in the coming weeks.

Delaney, though, sees no reason why Palace should not tackle any team head on.

"That is what we are about, and have been for a couple of seasons, putting bodies on the line, getting blocks and really digging in when the going gets tough. If we can keep those traits and with the quality we have added, hopefully it can be a good year for us," the Republic of Ireland defender said.

"With guys like Cabaye, who are going to be important when we are at home and see a little bit more of the ball. With him, and Punch (Jason Puncheon), Wilf (Zaha), Yannick (Bolasie), Connor Wickham and Muzza (Glenn Murray), the attacking talent is there.

"We are looking forward to it and it is our job at the back to give them a platform to go and win it, so that we are not 2-0 down and having to climb mountains."

Delaney added: "This has been the change we were looking for, without losing the plus points that we have, if we can add to it then hopefully it will be a better season."

Eagles boss Alan Pardew, who was appointed in January and guided the club he once played for to a 10th-placed finish last season, believes the squad is now streetwise for the challenges ahead.

"We have good experience for the Premier League, even though it is only our third year it's a massive quality and if there is one thing Norwich are going to need to gain it's that kind of nous. We are really strong on that," Pardew said.

"When they got a goal back we knew not to panic. Last year we won a lot of games exactly like we did here."

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