Alan Pardew admitted that he picked the wrong team for yesterday’s win over Norwich, thanking his players for battling through in difficult circumstances.
Despite a rocky opening 20 minutes, Wilfried Zaha managed to volley home the opening goal of the game shortly before half-time, before Damien Delaney doubled our lead just a few minutes after the interval.
A long-range effort from Nathan Redmond had us worried for a while, but thanks to Yohan Cabaye’s slotted finish in stoppage time, we returned to SE25 with all three points, much to the boss’ joy.
Speaking afterwards, he said:
“It has been a great day for us. “We’ve looked forward to this game – a really slippery one we have done well to win. “Norwich were brilliant in the first 20 (minutes). I thought I picked the wrong team today and we struggled a little bit.
We had to shuffle our pack to cope with Norwich and that helped us and we went on before half time and had a good spell, scored the goal and literally straight after half time got a great second goal – a well worked set play.
“We looked comfortable until we made a tiny error and it is 2-1 and then the game is in the balance, Norwich perhaps had a great couple of moments, and the margins are that small.”
It says a great deal for both Pardew and the players, to see us coming out of such a tough game with a solid victory on the opening day. Whilst we did indeed ride our luck for long spells of the first-half, the second period was a far tighter display from our players.
After initially riding a storm from the hosts in the aftermath of Redmond’s strike, we saw the game out in convincing fashion, and can now look forward to next Sunday’s home opener against Arsenal with real relish.
Even if the manager picks the wrong team, the chances are we’ll be ok.