Sam aims to repair Palace defenses
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.
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.”
New Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce