Tuesday 12 December 2017

Allardyce says break helped Palace

Crystal Palace 1 Middlesbrough 0

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce. Photo: Reuters
Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce. Photo: Reuters

Sam Allardyce believes Crystal Palace's improved performance in their defeat of Middlesbrough was due to the fortnight's break they have had from their relegation battle.

They demonstrated increased resilience and belief as Patrick van Aanholt's first-half goal secured the three vital points that took them out of the drop zone and up to 17th.

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha runs ahead of Middlesbrough's Adam Forshaw. Photo: PA
Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha runs ahead of Middlesbrough's Adam Forshaw. Photo: PA

Their elimination from the FA Cup earlier in the season gave them a break last weekend and two weeks to prepare for Middlesbrough.

Allardyce had previously overseen a disappointing and demanding run of fixtures since his appointment as manager in December, but their improvement at Selhurst Park suggested his influence is finally being felt.

The manager had previously been critical for his squad for not listening to his instructions, but he said: "Our two-week break has worked in our favour.

"We've worked very well with the players - it's given them a lot of thinking time. A lot of the new players can mingle with the lads already here.

Crystal Palace's Jason Puncheon in action with Middlesbrough's Adam Forshaw. Photo: Reuters
Crystal Palace's Jason Puncheon in action with Middlesbrough's Adam Forshaw. Photo: Reuters

"The performance in the first half warranted our victory, with an excellent goal from Patrick.

"(Mamadou Sakho produced a) very nice performance, in his first competitive Premier League game this season."

Allardyce revealed he has set his team the target of catching 14th-placed Bournemouth, the highest of those clubs he believes are involved in the battle for survival.

Sunday Indo Sport

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport