Belfast Telegraph

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew pleased with a point from Swansea trip

Alan Pardew was relieved that his Crystal Palace side finally stopped the rot with a 1-1 draw at Swansea.

The Eagles avoided a sixth straight Barclays Premier League defeat when defender Scott Dann cancelled out Gylfi Sigurdsson's superb first-half free-kick.

The game could have either way after Dann's 47th-minute leveller but Palace boss Pardew conceded the Eagles had been carrying some unwanted baggage in recent weeks.

"This was everything for us," Pardew said. "We had to sit ourselves down at half-time and take away the tyre that we were dragging behind us after five defeats.

"Make no mistake, it was Crystal Palace DNA which got us home by getting blocks in at the end.

"We thwarted a Swansea side who are in good form, so it makes it a little bit more sweet that we managed to pull it back.

"I was frustrated in the first half because I know these players and I know they are better than that. But, in football, if there's a slight doubt in your mind and you take on too much tactically you can't play with instinct.

"We managed to get them to think differently in the second half and it helped us."

Emmanuel Adebayor made his first start since joining Palace in the January transfer window.

Pardew said on Thursday that Adebayor's fitness levels only permitted a cameo appearance but, in the event, the former Arsenal and Tottenham striker played 86 minutes at the Liberty Stadium.

"He had a couple of moments in the game where you can see the class he has," Pardew said. "He was great in the dressing room and he has settled in very quickly.

"His levels are not quite where you'd like them but he played for a long time today and those minutes are going to help him going forward.

"I couldn't be more pleased with his application and the way he's conducted himself since he's been here. I reckon in about three games we'll see the best from him."

Swansea are now unbeaten in three games under new head coach Francesco Guidolin.

But Palace's equaliser dragged the home side nearer the relegation zone, with Swansea now in 16th place with 27 points from 25 games.

Dann's sixth goal of the season also exposed Swansea's weakness as it was the third consecutive game in which they had conceded from a set-piece.

"It is a problem at the moment and we must understand what is better for our team," Guidolin said.

"That will be not having set-pieces coming against us, but it's not possible because in the Premier League all teams are very strong in set-pieces.

"We also had two big chances to score from offensive set-pieces and I think we have to work to improve this situation.

"But there is no need to be worried, we have to try and improve it and do more work on the training ground."

Reflecting on the battle at the bottom, with Newcastle's win over West Brom taking them to within three points of Swansea, Guidolin said: "The table is better than it was for us three weeks ago, but we must take points every weekend.

"We should have won this game but it is one point and we must now look to next Saturday."


From Belfast Telegraph