Midfielder praises the side's defensive discipline and hopes for more of the same against Everton in the FA Cup
Darren Pratley believes Saturday’s solid defensive display against Crystal Palace will stand the side in good stead as they prepare to welcome Everton to the Reebok in the FA Cup.
Wanderers claimed a point in an evenly contested clash at Selhurst Park at the weekend, as Dougie Freedman’s men secured back-to-back clean sheets following on from the midweek victory over Sunderland.
Pratley was pleased with the Trotters’ structured display in the capital and the midfielder now hopes that the Whites can carry their momentum through to the weekend, though he is expecting a tough game against the Premier League high-flyers.
“It was good to secure back-to-back clean sheets,” Pratley said after the game. “It is not just the back four, it is the whole team that work hard. Whether it is the skipper upfront or the midfielders, we are all working together as a unit to secure clean sheets, and that is what we aim to do. If we can keep clean sheets then we are more likely to pick up points.
“I think we defended well on Tuesday against Sunderland and we knew we had to do the same against Palace. They have some good players, an England international in Wilfried Zaha, and other top players like Yannick Bolasie who can hurt you. We had to get our game plan right, keep tight which we did, and sometimes catch them on the break.
“It was a game of not many chances. They hit the post and I could have maybe scored the header at the end. Both teams had a go but I think a draw was a fair result.
“The Crystal Palace ground staff have done an excellent job. The pitch is no different to any other Saturday and fair play to Palace for getting the game on and getting the pitch ready. It was bobbly in places but overall it was a good pitch.
“Now we return to the FA Cup and we want to test ourselves against good Premier League opposition. We know that Everton are flying in the league and it will be good. We are at home and I know that we will get a good backing from our fans and we hope to get a positive result. It is not in the league so we can go out there and enjoy it.”