BY ANDREW MCSTEEN
Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira has praised the “maturity” of his squad as they seek to consolidate a top 10 Premier League finish and FA Cup Final spot.
After their 3-0 victory against Arsenal on Monday night, Eagles defender Joachim Andersen said the ability of the team in recent months to turn draws into wins and claim four successive clean sheets was down to a “more mature” squad, something which Vieira agrees with.
“There’s more maturity, a better understanding through the players around,” said Vieira to the South London Press ahead of the Premier League clash against Leicester this afternoon.
“The players understand each other better [now], and that allowed our collective to be stronger.”
Vieira’s side won just five league games in their first 25, with a number of goals conceded just before the half-time break or full-time whistle, turning wins into draws and draws into defeats.
Ahead of the Watford away game in February, a certain nervousness had spread amongst Palace fans at least.
But a 4-1 win against former boss Roy Hodgson and seven unbeaten have put paid to those feelings with Premier League security all but secured thanks to 37 points in the bank.
“We learnt a lot about managing games, especially when we are in a really difficult period,” explained Vieira.
“All these kinds of difficulties that we have had made us more stronger today.”
PICTURE: ROB AVIS