Palace starting to feel Allardyce effect, says Van Aanholt

26 February 2017 02:38

Patrick van Aanholt believes Crystal Palace's improved performance in the defeat of Middlesbrough was down to manager Sam Allardyce's influence on the training ground.

Two months after Allardyce's appointment Palace finally showed some of the organisation and resilience which his teams usually demonstrate and has been absent all season.

Middlesbrough again had few goalscoring chances, and Van Aanholt - whose first-half goal secured a 1-0 victory - insists that was largely because of the effects of the hosts' recent work.

"We trained very hard because we didn't have a game last week and after that we got a couple of days off, because rest is also important," the full-back, whose goal was his first for the club, told Palace's official website.

"We came back together, worked hard in the week and that's paid off. We showed everyone we were up for winning the game and we did.

"We were very good (defensively). In the first half we came out and were dominant, like, 'We're here to win this game'.

"(And) it was an unbelievable moment for me (to score)."

Sixteenth-placed Middlesbrough were unambitious throughout Saturday's fixture at Selhurst Park, allowing Palace to climb out of the Premier League's bottom three and go level with them on 22 points from 26 games.

Their head coach Aitor Karanka felt his team underestimated the importance of a match against a direct rival.

"In the past, when we have played against teams around us in the table we have been much better than them," the Spaniard told the club's official website.

"But the way we approached the game wasn't the best.

"I thought the team knew how important this game was, but the first half told me we didn't realise that.

"We can't make these mistakes, and we have to realise that every single week the games become more important."

Source: PA