New boys settling in at Palace

09 February 2014 02:47

Crystal Palace's debutant goalscorers Thomas Ince and Joe Ledley have lauded the welcome they have received at Selhurst Park.

The duo were brought in by Eagles manager Tony Pulis on transfer deadline day, along with Wayne Hennessey and Scott Dann, and both Ince and Ledley introduced themselves to the Barclays Premier League with goals in Saturday's 3-1 win over West Brom.

The victory saw Palace end the day in 14th place, with Marouane Chamakh's controversial penalty cancelling out Thievy Bifouma's goal for the Baggies in the second half.

Ince, who moved to south London on loan from Blackpool, has been linked to a number of clubs over the last 18 months but is happy to be part of Pulis' squad.

"It has been fantastic," he said.

"If you ask the boys, we have walked into a club that we feel we've been at for ages. The lads are brilliant, the staff, the facilities - everything around it has made me feel welcome.

"I just need to keep my feet firmly on the ground, train twice as hard this week and see if I can get in the squad for Wednesday."

Ledley completed a deadline-day move from Celtic and, despite being deployed at left-back by Pulis, managed to header in Ince's corner to double Palace's lead and was equally as enthused by his early days at the club.

"Tony is fantastic," he said.

"He has brought in a couple of us now as new players and the squad already was strong. We are working well on our shape and we are hard to break down. It was good to get a couple of goals as well at the other end.

"I couldn't have asked for anything better. That is what I want to do - score goals. It was a great ball in by Tom and I just managed to get my head on it.

"You just want to go out there and play football. It doesn't matter where you're playing. You just have to do a job for the team and hopefully I did that."

The defeat saw West Brom, still winless under Pepe Mel, drop into the Barclays Premier League's bottom three after the visitors struggled to get into the game in the first half.

The Baggies reacted after the break but, after Bifouma's own debut strike, any hopes of a positive result were dashed when referee Chris Foy awarded a penalty to Palace with 20 minutes remaining.

Chamakh raced through on goal as West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster charged out and challenged the Morocco international.

Foy adjudged that Foster had not played the ball and pointed to the spot - much to the England international's dismay.

"I was in complete shock when he gave the penalty," Foster said.

"We have just got to suck it up and get on with it. It is irrelevant what we see in the replays. It is fine lines. If we had put our chances in the net it would have been 2-2 and you never know what could have happened.

"From a personal point of view, my opinion is that I didn't think I fouled the player.

"It makes no odds now what my opinion is because the decision has been made, but I thought I got the ball and it didn't deserve to be a penalty."

Foster also bemoaned West Brom's slow start and knows that has to improve if they are to pick up a result against league leaders Chelsea at The Hawthorns on Tuesday night.

"We can't let it get to the point when we are one or two goals down in a game and then finally make a push for the game - we need to go from the very first minute," he added.

"We have a very tough game against Chelsea on Tuesday and that is what we need to do. Our home form is pretty good. We had a tough match against Liverpool and showed what we could do.

"We have to remain positive and take the second-half performance into the Chelsea game."

Source: PA

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