Sam aims to re­pair Palace de­fenses

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AGEN­CIES in London

Plug­ging the leaks in Crys­tal Palace’s por­ous de­fense will be the first task for the south London club’s new man­ager Sam Al­lardyce dur­ing its hec­tic Christ­mas sched­ule.

For­mer Eng­land boss Al­lardyce re­placed the fired Alan Pardew on Fri­day with Palace just above the rel­e­ga­tion zone thanks to the third­worst de­fen­sive record in the Premier League.

“We have a very im­por­tant job of stop­ping the goals go­ing in at the other end,” Al­lardyce told the Sel­hurst Park club’s web­site.

“At­tack­ing play­ers, when they are in pos­ses­sion, are fan­tas­tic this sea­son. The strength­en­ing in that area by the club and by Alan has brought a lot of flair to the team and I think that has brought quite a lot more goals.

“But the other side is that when we are not in posses- sion we have got to stop con­ced­ing and make sure that those goals we score win us games. It sounds sim­ple but it’s not that easy.”

Al­lardyce is con­sid­ered to be one of the best man­agers in English soc­cer when it comes to sur­viv­ing rel­e­ga­tion scraps.

The ex­pe­ri­enced 62-yearold was avail­able for hire af­ter his short reign as Eng­land man­ager ended af­ter just 67 days in Septem­ber fol­low­ing com­ments he made in a news­pa­per sting about “get- ting around” Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion rules on trans­fers.

Al­lardyce is hop­ing to bol­ster the Ea­gles with Jan­uary trans­fer-win­dow sign­ings.

“We are cer­tainly try­ing to make the squad a bit big­ger with more strength in depth,” he said.

“The play­ers here are good enough but if we can add to that let’s try and do it.”

Palace has been in the top flight since 2013 but only one win in its last 11 matches has re­sulted in a slide to­wards the foot of the stand­ings.

It is fourth from bot­tom, one point above Al­lardyce’s for­mer club Sunderland, ahead of Mon­day’s match at Wat­ford.

‘Dark­est mo­ment’

Al­lardyce also de­scribed los­ing the Eng­land man­ager’s job as “one of the dark­est mo­ments in my ca­reer” in a tele­vi­sion in­ter­view broad­cast on Satur­day.

“The first four weeks was some­thing that was one of the dark­est mo­ments in my ca­reer,” Al­lardyce told Sky Sports.

“Cer­tainly the early re­ac­tion, which was a bit hys­ter­i­cal to say the least, look­ing back on it.

“I’m talk­ing about me and my wife and my fam­ily. We all had to deal with that prob­lem — my chil­dren, my grand­chil­dren at school.

“But even­tu­ally time passes by, you over­come those ad­ver­si­ties and you move on.

“Mov­ing on for me is tak­ing this job.”

REUTERS

New Crys­tal Palace man­ager Sam Al­lardyce

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