Sam Allardyce says his first task as Crystal Palace boss will be to tighten up a defence that has leaked 32 goals in 17 Premier League matches this season.
Allardyce was appointed Palace manager on Friday, penning a two-and-a-half year deal after the club parted company with Alan Pardew on Thursday.
“I’ve got a very important job in stopping the goals going in at the other end first, to be perfectly honest,” Allardyce said. “Attacking players when you’re in possession are fantastic because this season the strengthening in that area by the club and by Alan has brought a lot of flair to the team and I think that has brought quite a few more goals than perhaps they were looking like scoring last season.
“But at the other side of it is when we’re not in possession we’ve just got to stop conceding goals and make sure that those goals we score win us games now. It sounds simple, but it’s not that easy and that’s what we’ve got to try and turn around. [The target] first and foremost is just to say ‘let’s stop losing’. That’s the object, to try and find the basis of consistency that brings us some results.”
Allardyce was quick to praise the ambition of Palace chairman Steve Parish, and the club’s American owners, whom Pardew claimed just three weeks ago “perhaps don’t know a lot about football”.
“The club seems to be very ambitious,” he said.
“Certainly the chairman and the owners seem to be taking the club forward in the right direction.”
He said: “We’ve got to try and make sure we protect the players we’ve got and the rumours that may float around that people might be interested in our players is also of great concern when you’re a manager because that is very disruptive and can put a player off his game.
“Particularly in the position we’re in we don’t want any of that.
“We’re certainly trying to recruit and make the squad a little bit bigger with a little bit more strength in depth would obviously be a key area for me. The players who are here are good enough but also if we can add to that then let’s try and do it