Al­lardyce re­flects on see­saw sea­son af­ter keep­ing Palace up

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LON­DON: Sam Al­lardyce thanked the Crys­tal Palace board for the fi­nan­cial sup­port that helped him to save the south Lon­don club from rel­e­ga­tion and end a sea­son that started with his ill-fated short reign as Eng­land man­ager on a high note.

Palace crushed Hull City 4-0 on Sun­day in a rel­e­ga­tion tus­sle at Sel­hurst Park that be­gan with them need­ing one point for Premier League sur­vival, while the visi­tors had to win to carry their fight to a fi­nal home match against Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur this week­end.

“I came in on De­cem­ber 23 and it was a tough, tough time... The con­cen­tra­tion on re­cruit­ment in the trans­fer mar­ket was cer­tainly one of the big el­e­ments in our turn­around,” said Al­lardyce, who saved Sun­der­land from the drop last sea­son.

“The ac­qui­si­tion of the play­ers who ar­rived at the club made us bet­ter,” said Al­lardyce, who im­me­di­ately set out to im­prove the club’s leaky de­fence, sign­ing Pa­trick van Aan­holt and tak­ing Ma­madou Sakho on loan from Liver­pool.

“We had to start at that (de­fen­sive) base if we were go­ing to get any­where... The acquisitions made a dif­fer­ence, it in­creased the con­fi­dence of the play­ers who were al­ready here. We stopped con­ced­ing goals and started win­ning football matches.”

Once the team be­came set­tled, Palace went on a good run of six wins in eight matches from late Fe­bru­ary that in­cluded mem­o­rable vic­to­ries away to Chelsea and at home to Arse­nal.

A late wob­ble with three suc­ces­sive losses put them back in the rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle they won on Sun­day.

Hull man­ager Marco Silva, who also took charge mid­way through the cam­paign in Jan­uary, said the north-east club needed a re­think af­ter their sec­ond rel­e­ga­tion in three sea­sons.

“Now the most im­por­tant thing is for the club to un­der­stand what it did wrong... I will give my opin­ion to the board and the chair­man to un­der­stand what the club needs to do dif­fer­ently,” the Por­tuguese said.

“In the three-and-a-half months we have been here we did our best to get the team to play dif­fer­ently and to fight to the end.”

Con­ced­ing a goal in the third minute when Wil­fried Zaha scored af­ter a de­fen­sive blun­der was a blow to Hull’s am­bi­tions.

“When you pre­pare for a fi­nal and you give one goal away in the first min­utes, it’s very dif­fi­cult... We put them where they wanted to be.

“For them a draw was enough and they played to our mis­takes,” said Silva, whose pop­u­lar­ity with Hull’s fans re­mains strong de­spite their rel­e­ga­tion.

Hull were bot­tom when Silva took charge and he led them to six wins in eight home games but they failed to get a win in nine away matches. Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.