Crystal Palace striker Glenn Murray paid tribute to manager Alan Pardew’s attacking mentality after their shock 2-1 win over Manchester City on Monday, and claimed the former Newcastle United boss had improved the atmosphere amongst the squad.
The victory at Selhurst Park continued good runs for both Murray and Pardew with the 31-year-old forward scoring his fifth goal in as many games in the Premier League, while the manager made it 22 points from 11 matches since joining Palace mid-season.
Since Pardew moved from Newcastle to London, only Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea have picked up points at a better rate than Palace’s two per game.
One of Pardew’s first moves at Selhurst Park was to recall Murray from his loan spell at Reading and the striker has responded with a goal every 89 minutes – better than any other player in the Premier League.
Murray opened the scoring in the 34th minute, while he also earned the free-kick, which saw Jason Puncheon curl a free-kick over the wall and into the bottom corner three minutes into the second half.
The Maryport-born forward is enjoying his football and he credits Pardew for that.
“I think ever since the gaffer’s come in he’s been uplifting results and the boys have reacted to that,” Murray told Palace’s website.
“We’re a happy group at the minute.
“He’s just made it more attacking, obviously the two wide boys and ‘Punch’ [Puncheon] can get on the ball and sort of express themselves and I benefit off the back of that.”
Murray conceded, however, that his goal could have been flagged offside, with Scott Dann arguably the wrong side of his marker in the lead-up.
“That was my first look over my left shoulder just to check [the assistant referee] hadn’t flagged and luckily it didn’t go up and it got counted,” he said.
The win – Palace’s third in a row – saw Pardew’s team strengthen their hold on 11th spot in the Premier League table with 39 points, two clear of 12th-placed Everton.
When Pardew replaced Neil Warnock at Selhurst Park in January, Palace were 18th and had not won in eight league fixtures.