Crystal Palace no longer sit bottom of the Premier League. The victory away at Hull on Saturday saw them leapfrog Sunderland, who lost at Stoke.
Importantly with the three points there was a clean sheet, the second in a row. It will do the team the world of good to have two clean sheets behind them like this, and bring back some of the confidence they displayed last season. Clean sheets will also help the goals against column.
By now most Palace fans will have a pretty good reading of the game and talking points like Cameron Jerome’s influence have had plenty of discussion. Bolasie’s red card has also received attention, particularly on a weekend when there were questionable refereeing decisions up and down the country.
One of the most pleasing points from this win has to be the effective way the team deployed their counter-attacking capabilities. Not since last year have two pacey wingers run at the opposition defence consistently throughout the match when the opportunity arose.
Dwight Gayle’s form at this level has been questioned so far this season, but whether or not you think he can do it in the Premier League in a goal scoring capacity, the one thing he does have is pace. He is not an out-and-out winger but having him on one wing and Bolasie on the other gave the squad the first real pace threat on both wings for the first time since Zaha wore the red and blue shirt.
The tactics were spot on, to which Keith Millen must of course be given credit. He knows what this team is capable of, having been here through the promotion, and it has felt like a case of getting back to doing the basics well in the last few matches. And in doing so the team has shown what they are capable of.
By recording a victory, the gap has closed to some of the nearest rivals including the next opponents Norwich. Some optimism has returned and now you will find many of the national media who had written the team off suddenly backtracking by saying that survival is possible.
Whatever happens between now and May, it is safe to say that this is something that can be expected throughout the campaign, as one result will change the complexion of how the club is reported on. That is just the nature of the beast.
Supporters can enjoy this week and look forward to the trip to Carrow Road.
Daniel Smith - @dmsmith1987