Alan Pardew has ranked yesterday’s win over Chelsea as the team’s greatest performance under him.
Having spoken to his players about what was needed to secure all three points at Stamford Bridge earlier in the week, we managed to implement the tactical plan perfectly, taking the lead through Bakary Sako and grabbing an eventual winner through the head of Joel Ward.
Understandably elated at our overall performance, Pardew was beaming when discussing the victory with the press after the game.
“We had a good meeting this week about what it takes to win here. It’s difficult to try and overcome of the quality of not just the team here but the manager [Mourinho]. But we did it.
“We did it with an assured performance because you can nick a win here by parking the bus. I didn’t think we did that. We were on the front foot. We tried to hurt Chelsea as often as we could.”
“As Crystal Palace manager, this was my best performance of the team that I’ve seen. Not because of the victory here, but because of the manner of how we played.
“We looked a good team today and, if we can keep the team fit, keep the spirit that we have with people like Damo [Delaney] and Scotty Dann, we can have a good season.
It’s always great to come here and managing here. It’s a great place.”
Now without a game for a prolonged period thanks to an international break, Pardew and his players can readjust their aims for the remaining 34 games of the Premier League season, safe in the knowledge that we’re a quarter of the way to safety already.
To be second in the league after four games despite having taken on Arsenal and Chelsea is quite some achievement, but you get the feeling that the players and coaches were heading into the current campaign with the hope of pressing ahead dramatically from last season’s tenth placed finish.
Far removed from the cautious performances of years gone by, there is a newfound confidence attached to Palace under Pardew. Let’s hope that it’s here to stay.