Date: 12th September 2016 at 6:12pm
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Manager Alan Pardew has spoken of his delight at Crystal Palace picking up their first Premier League win of 2016/17 – and he obviously hopes it’s the first of many given how 2016 has gone for the club so far.

Making the trip to the Riverside Stadium to face off against Aitor Karanka’s automatically promoted side from the Championship last season, Palace got themselves in front twice with goals from Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha who got on the scoresheet having created the earlier assist, but it was by no means a comfortable match.

Speaking to Crystal Palace FC in his post game press conference, Pardew was full of praise for the performance of the hosts, as in many ways that just showed how well we performed and saw the game out to register the first league win of the season.

‘It was very similar to the other games that we`ve had in this division this year as it was so tight and the breaks went our way today. I was pleased with the first 20 minutes of each half and I felt that we controlled those periods, but then maybe because we hadn`t won for a while we sat back towards the end of the first-half. I sent them out early for the second half to just replicate what we did in the first and try and stay with it and we got a goal. At the end of the game we were hanging on against a very confident Boro; they didn`t look like a team that has just been promoted, they look better than that.’

With handball appeals for the hosts on the day, Pardew went on to say.

‘Handball is a strange one because when a ball is stuck in the box and a defender sticks his hand out as he knows he`s got beat, they`re cast-iron penalties, but these had no intent. I think it`s difficult for the referee to call them; Scott Dann has kicked it and it`s hit his hand for sure, and he could have given it but he didn`t, and the second one I have to say I though he (Delaney) was trying to get his hand out of the way.’

With the showing from Wilf, he came in for particular praise.

‘We started the last game without him because of the transfer situation but he was terrific today – not just the goal and the assist which I have been working with him on his defensive qualities today against George Friend who bombs up and down the line were exceptional.’

And of course the first win.

‘In terms of the context of this division we all know that the spotlight comes on you and it can affect your confidence. The importance for us is to give us a little bit more confidence in ourselves because we shouldn`t have got ourselves in the position we did against Bournemouth, we managed to get ourselves out of it but we shouldn`t have gotten there.’

With Benteke getting his maiden club goal and becoming the first Belgian to score for three different Premier League sides, Pardew ended by saying.

‘I think it`s very important for a striker to get that first goal, and as soon as the cross came in you knew – I don`t think any defender can defend against him in that position when he`s coming on the back of you like that. It`s almost impossible to defend.’

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