Crystal Palace's Delaney goes on the defensive

Survival: Delaney reckons Crystal Palace's Premier League future hangs on a solid defence                   SP78371

Survival: Delaney reckons Crystal Palace's Premier League future hangs on a solid defence SP78371

First published in Sport This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , leisure editor

If Crystal Palace cling on to their Premier League status it will likely be built on increasing defensive stability rather than cutting edge attacking play, says defender Damien Delaney.

Though the Eagles lost 1-0 against Southampton on Saturday, Jay Rodriguez’s winner came from a freak length of the field break while Palace were pressuring the opposition area.

The lack of incision going forward was more of a worry. Crystal Palace have scored just 19 goals in their 28 games this season, the lowest in the league.

By contrast, their opponents on Saturday have now netted almost twice as many times, 39, and still only sit in mid-table.

Delaney said: “It’s a group game. It takes everyone to score goals.

“We had enough set pieces today, we probably could have done a little bit better.

“We’re not going to stick the defeat on the centre forwards, the same as if we’re shipping goals we wouldn’t stick it at the feet of me and Dannsy [Scott Dann] or Jules [Julian Speroni] or whoever.”

The 32-year-old Irishman is forming a solid partnership at the back with Dann, who joined the club in late January.

He said: “I’m enjoying it. Dannsy’s an experienced player, he’s not a rookie coming in that you have to coach through it.

“He knows the game, he knows what defending is about and I have definitely developed a good understanding with him.

“But we’re going to need it between now and the end of the season because we might possibly be the lowest goal scorers to ever stay up in the Premier League.

“That looks like it is what it is going to be right now, but what a record that would be to have.”

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