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Pat’ll do nicely, as Sam inspires Palace

PATRICK VAN AANHOLT believes Crystal Palace’s improved display in the 1-0 win over Middlesbrough was down to manager Sam Allardyce’s influence on the training ground.

Two months after Allardyce took over, Palace finally showed some of the organisation and resilience which his teams usually demonstrate and moved out of the drop-zone. January signing Van Aanholt hit the winner and said: ‘We trained very hard because we didn’t have a game last week and after we had a couple of days off.

‘We came back together, worked hard in the week and that’s paid off. We showed everyone we were up for winning the game.’ Sixteenth-placed Boro created little as Palace, a place worse off, joined them on 22 points.

Head coach Aitor Karanka said: ‘The way we approached the game wasn’t the best.

‘I thought the team knew how important this game was but the first half told me we didn’t.’