Sunday 22 July 2018

Perfect start for Cabaye

Yohan Cabaye, right, scored on his Crystal Palace debut
Yohan Cabaye, right, scored on his Crystal Palace debut

Yohan Cabaye hopes his perfect start on his return to the Barclays Premier League can help to give Crystal Palace a platform to mount a successful campaign.

The former Newcastle midfielder joined the Eagles from Paris St Germain last month in a £10million deal, and marked his debut against Norwich with a well-taken goal in stoppage time to seal a 3-1 win over the newly-promoted Canaries at Carrow Road.

The 29-year-old - who moved to Ligue 1 in a £19million switch during January 2014 - believes there is plenty more to come from Alan Pardew's well-organised team, who next host Arsenal and Aston Villa before heading to Chelsea and then tackling Manchester City.

"I was happy to get the goal. I wanted to start well because it is a new season with my new team so I think it was the best way to start, especially as last season wasn't simple for me. Now I want to focus on Palace and do my best for the team and for the club," Cabaye said on the club's official website,

"It means a lot to me to be back in the Premier League as I enjoyed my time at Newcastle.

"I have had a fantastic welcome from the club since I arrived and I want to do my best to help them get the best position possible in the league.

"We have to keep working hard and I think we can do better - we have to keep hold of the ball better, but it is the start of the new season and we have plenty of time to play together.

"But we know that we have a tough start and are going to have to be ready next week."

Despite the final scoreline, Norwich, last season's Sky Bet Championship play-off final winners at Wembley, produced some good spells.

Striker Lewis Grabban somehow failed to convert from inside the six-yard box on 10 minutes, which proved costly as Wilfried Zaha put the visitors ahead just before the break.

Early in the second half, Eagles captain Damien Delaney swept the ball home after a well-worked corner routine.

Norwich substitute Nathan Redmond cracked in a 25-yard effort to grab a lifeline on 69 minutes, before Cameron Jerome saw his acrobatic effort controversially ruled out for dangerous play by referee Simon Hooper, who was taking charge of his first Premier League game.

Canaries midfielder Jonny Howson believes his side can take positives from their efforts ahead of next weekend's trip to Sunderland, who were beaten 4-2 at Leiceter.

"We started very well, but probably needed to get a goal while we were on top, and that is what happens at this level," Howson said on Norwich City TV.

"When you come up against good sides they get one chance and put it away.

"Hopefully we will learn from this game and try to make amends next week.

"Whatever happened against Palace, it is gone now so all we can do now is take the positives into next Saturday's game."

Norwich manager Alex Neil refused to be too demoralised following defeat in what was the Scottish manager's first match in the English top flight.

"What will happen with the smaller teams if you have just come up and you have lost, then people will say 'they don't know what it takes in the Premier League, they lack quality', but it is going to be over the course of time," said Neil, who oversaw a superb run of form through to promotion at Wembley after moving from Hamilton in January.

"On this showing we showed we have got enough, but we need to show a bit more guile once we go up a level.

"It is those fine margins and making sure you take your opportunities and make them count. Unfortunately that didn't happen for us."

Norwich are tracking Dynamo Kiev's £10million-rated Congo striker Dieumerci Mbokani.

Neil said: "A lot of these things are out of your control so you are really depending on others.

"I would like to hope we would try to get someone in before Saturday, but I couldn't say for definite."

Press Association

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