Tuesday 23 January 2018

Allardyce: This was hardest job

Sam Allardyce acknowledges the Palace fans
Sam Allardyce acknowledges the Palace fans

Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce admitted his side's Premier League survival was a "massive relief" as they powered past relegation rivals Hull at Selhurst Park.

The former England manager has never been relegated since taking his first full-time job with Blackpool in 1994 and the Eagles ensured he maintained that record with an emphatic 4-0 victory against Hull.

Palace only needed a point to maintain their top-flight status and were gifted an early opening goal when Hull defender Andrea Ranocchia mistimed the ball to let in Wilfried Zaha who slotted under goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic.

Christian Benteke headed in to double the hosts' lead before a late penalty from Luka Milivojevic and a Patrick van Aanholt strike sealed a vital three points.

The result means the Tigers will play Championship football next season and Allardyce was delighted to alleviate the possibility of relegation ahead of the final game of the season next Sunday.

He said: "I think because of the run-in, the size of the teams we have had to play, this was the hardest (team to keep up).

"Now, we have not wasted the magnificent results we have achieved, particularly in that short spell where we did well against Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal.

"It is a massive relief that's for sure. We all knew the implications of relegation today and the devastation it causes a football club and this football club has stayed in the Premier League for five years and wants to grow.

"It was a perfect performance from the players today, 4-0, a clean sheet and it is terrific for everybody that has taken part since I've been here - not just the squad but everyone behind the scenes and the fans in particularly in the end who have been behind us."

Marco Silva refused to discuss his future as Hull manager as attention will now inevitably turn to the matter of his contract, which expires at the end of the season.

"Now is not the moment to talk about the future of the manager," said Silva.

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