English Premiership

Allardyce: I need to plug leaky defence

2016-12-24 12:57
Sam Allardyce (Getty Images)

Cape Town - New Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce says while he's impressed with what the club has achieved in recent seasons, his first job as manager will be to stop the team from conceding so freely.

The Eagles have won just four games all season, and in 17 Premier League games have shipped a massive 32 goals, scoring 28.

Under sacked boss Alan Pardew the club ended 15th last term, and Allardyce would settle for a repeat of that placing, with the club currently just one point clear of the relegation zone in 17th.

Speaking after being unveiled, Allardyce told the club's official website: "I've got a very important job in stopping the goals going in at the other end first, to be perfectly honest.

"Attacking players when you're in possession are fantastic because this season the strengthening in that area by the club and by Alan has brought a lot of flair to the team and I think that has brought quite a few more goals than perhaps they were looking like scoring last season.

"But at the other side of it is when we're not in possession we've just got to stop conceding goals and make sure that those goals we score win us games now. It sounds simple, but it's not that easy and that's what we've got to try and turn around.

"[The target] first and foremost is just to say 'let's stop losing'. That's the object, to try and find the basis of consistency that brings us some results."

Allardyce will be keen to make his mark on the Palace side with some new signings, but acknowledges he needs to ensure any additions won't disrupt a squad already low on confidence.

He explained: "We've got to try and make sure we protect the players we've got and the rumours that may float around that people might be interested in our players is also of great concern when you're a manager because that is very disruptive and can put a player off his game.

"Particularly in the position we're in we don't want any of that.

"We're certainly trying to recruit and make the squad a little bit bigger with a little bit more strength in depth would obviously be a key area for me. The players who are here are good enough but also if we can add to that then let's try and do it."

And, commenting on how the club has been run over the past few years, since their promotion to the English top flight in the 2013/14 season, he added: "Recently [the club] has been very impressive the way it's grown, the fact that they've held the Premier League status over a number of years now and the fact that the fans, and the stadium when you're there, [create] a very, very good atmosphere and a very passionate one.

"I hope we can bring some joy, particularly over Christmas and New Year, but also in the long-term and over the course of the season."

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