It may not have been the prettiest at times, but the three points is what matters and Palace achieved that against West Ham on Tuesday night.
Possession in the middle of the park, particularly in the first half, was poor with what appeared to be nerves running through the team as they tried to pass the ball about. This led to giving the ball away a number of times when in good positions to move forward.
However, when the ball was given away the Eagles were not punished. Undoubtedly, against a stronger team this will be much less likely but for Palace to make these mistakes and get away with it will give them a bit of confidence, which in turn should settle the nerves so they have less of an impact in future.
Earlier in the season mistakes were punished. Skipper Mile Jedinak was unfortunate in that against both Southampton and Manchester United decisive moments came from him giving the ball away. But it was not just one player, small mistakes across the field were punished. West Ham found the net once only for it to be disallowed. Other than that Speroni only had Stewart Downing’s free-kick as a real test.
Whilst it may have been scrappy, Palace could have easily come away with a bigger margin of victory. Chances for Kebe, Puncheon, KG and Jerome were not taken but due to a solid defensive performance these were not punished.
Even if it was not pretty, it is three points that are much needed and at this present moment scrappy 1-0 wins are much more important than drawing games and playing well, particularly with the run of games the team has been on. The importance is on getting the points on the board to stay within touching distance of those teams above.
Although criticism of the game has been the style of play, the fact that the Eagles kept another clean sheet actually emphasises good organisation and understanding within the team. That is now three clean sheets in four games, with one goal conceded and seven points. There is going to need to be similar performances on a number of occasions this year for Palace to be able to keep up with the pace. And from this solid foundation Palace were able to build, with the spell just after half time showing that they can take on Premier League defences and create chances.
Cardiff visit Selhurst next, and the importance of the game has already been well discussed amongst supporters. Whatever the result though, Palace showed again against the Hammers that they have the capabilities to win in this league and can use that as they move forward.
Daniel Smith - @dmsmith1987