Alan Pardew expresses relief after Crystal Palace's victory over Southampton

Alan Pardew expresses relief after Crystal Palace's victory over Southampton

The pressure had been building on the 55-year-old after last week's stunning defeat to Swansea City

Jordan Owusu-Adu

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew was a relieved man after his side defeated Southampton 3-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.

The win ended the Eagles' awful recent form which saw them lose six straight Premier League games.

Christian Benteke gave them the lead after 33 minutes thanks to an unfortunate mistake by Saints keeper Fraser Forster. James Tomkins double their lead three minutes later, and Benteke sealed the victory late on after tapping home Jason Puncheon’s cross.  

A much-needed performance

“I’m relieved for our fans because they really needed that win today to stay with us – that was important,” Pardew said in his post-match press conference.

“The satisfaction today was for our players who delivered under pressure. What I delievered in the week I feel I’m experienced enough to do that, but they still had to deliver today and they did that."

Palace have been criticised in recent weeks for their poor defensive performances, with last weekend's 5-4 defeat to Swansea City a prime example, and the Eagles boss admitted they needed to concentrate heavilly on defending properly.

“The team didn’t want more defensive work, they needed more defensive work. They longed for it and wanted a clean sheet and I wasn’t going to let them down and work on attacking play or possession.

“The whole team – from our most expensive player to our youngest – were focused on getting this result today as we were hurt from the Swansea game, and I think you saw that today.”

Although it was a much-improved team performance, there were a couple of names Pardew wanted to single out.

“There were some great performances such as Christian [Benteke] and Jason Puncheon but [Damien] Delaney was terrific.

“He is a leader and an example to any footballer to get the maximum out of your career. He’s not blessed with a massive amount of talent but he makes up for it in his personality, his character and his desire.

"We got all of that off him today and the back four was better for him being in it.”

Pressure part of the job

As Palace finally put an end to their poor run of results, Pardew was asked about the pressure that seemed to be mounting on him, and he admitted that it was no surprise.

“As a manager at any level in the modern era you have to expect it at some stage so I just have to do my job as best I can, and I try to do that every week.”

Next up for Palace is a trip to Hull City on December 10, with the Tigers currently sitting second bottom of the Premier League ahead of their Monday night trip to Middlesbrough.