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Crystal Palace captain Joel Ward details early Oliver Glasner tactical changes after Burnley win


Despite struggling at times in the first half, Crystal Palace overcame lowly Burnley at Selhurst Park on Saturday, their 3-0 win giving new manager Oliver Glasner a debut victory.

The visitors came to Selhurst Park with just three Premier League wins all season and joint-bottom of the table and things went from bad to worse for the Lancashire side in the 35th minute after captain Josh Brownhill was sent off.

In an 11-minute second-half period, goals from Chris Richards, Jordan Ayew and Jean-Philippe Mateta then secured all three points for the home side.

“It was fully deserved,” said Palace captain Joel Ward about the win, the Eagles’ seventh in the Premier League this season. “From start to finish, we controlled the game, played well, and as a team, we showed that togetherness, confidence, belief and desire to come away with three points.

“Right from the start, we knew we had to stay in the game, and once we did, we knew we would give ourselves a good chance of coming away with all three points. If you go too ‘gung-ho’ early doors then you can open yourself up for counters, but we’ve managed the game really, really well.

“We had to stay patient, stay in the game and make sure that we didn’t do anything silly,” he added. “We bided our time before starting to open them up, created chances and in the second half, we’ve turned it on. The quality shone through at the end. With the ball, we created chances and found the back on a few occasions which was great.

“If you stay in the game, you give yourself a good chance. We’ve got the ability and depth within the squad to change games. Once you stay in the game and give yourself that opportunity, you’ve got a good foundation.

“From the off, we were just making sure that we had the togetherness, the desire, the confidence and belief to go out there and express ourselves and we’ve certainly done that. In this league, points are hard to come by and to do that in a good fashion today sets the tone for us.”

After watching Ward and his side from the stands last Monday against Everton, Oliver Glasner officially took over the team on Tuesday, overseeing less than a handful of training sessions before taking the hot seat in SE25 on Saturday afternoon.

“You just go out there with that confidence and belief – he instals in that you and gives you that licence to go and enjoy yourself and express yourself,” explained Ward about what the 49-year-old Austrian has brought to the team already.

“He’s only been in a couple of days [and] it’s going to take time to implement things, it always does after a change at the helm, [but] over the next coming weeks, we’ll be drilling things down and training.

“He’s tweaked little bits here and there already and given us a bit more of a guidance on how he wants to shape up and do things [like] the shape and the way in which we come out and work together, different little triggers here and there. Things will change and continue to evolve [and] we’ll do that on the training pitch.

“I’m sure there’s more to come over the course of the next couple of weeks. He’ll probably be adding to that over the next couple of weeks.”

As club captain, Ward is set to have a slightly elevated relationship with Glasner than compared to the rest of the squad, and in less than a week together he has already had an impact on the defender.

“We’ve had brief conversations here and there, but there’s so much going on over the first couple of weeks when someone comes in, I’m sure those times will happen,” explained Ward when asked about if he had any specific captain-manager conversations.

“You see his pedigree in Europe, [but] I didn’t know anyone directly really that had worked with him. It’s something a little bit different and you see his stats, they speak for themselves, but right now, we’ve just got to hit the ground running and make sure that we perform on the pitch and start to execute what he wants to execute.”

On Saturday, Ward was part of a back three central defensive unit alongside Joachim Andersen and Richards, with Tyrick Mitchell pushing on as a left wing-back and new signing Daniel Muñoz on the right.

And with the 34-year-old returning against Everton last week for his first game since 16th December, Ward is happy to be playing again, with Glasner taking time to speak to him after the full-time whistle in their first match together.

“I’ve had a bit of time on the sidelines, it was nine weeks leading into the Everton game where I hadn’t played a huge amount of games,” explained Ward. “It takes its toll [and] you get a little bit fatigued towards the end of the games, but it was good to get those minutes under my belt and he was just congratulating me on that.

“It’s only been a couple of games but I’ve enjoyed it so far,” added Ward about his link-up play with Muñoz. “He offers a lot to the team, his enthusiasm, desire and commitment is second-to-none. He’s going to be a fans’ favourite going forward.”

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