Ward-Prowse: We showed good character

By SFC Media time Wed 15 Dec Crystal Palace vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | James Ward-Prowse

James Ward-Prowse reflects on a positive performance from Southampton as they come from behind to secure a draw on the road at Crystal Palace.

Falling behind after just two minutes at Selhurst Park, a gutsy display ensued from a travelling Saints side who scored twice in quick succession to see them lead at the break.

A trademark free-kick from James Ward-Prowse saw Saints draw level before Armando Broja gave them the advantage heading into the break.

Victory wasn’t on the cards for Saints as Jordan Ayew’s 65th minute goal ensured the points were shared.

“It wasn’t the ideal start,” admitted the captain. “We knew it would be a tough place to come and overcome the crowd.

“It was quite difficult in those early moments, but I think we showed good character and a bit of grit to us tonight to come to a tough place and get over that one goal advantage.

“We reacted really well. We were solid in the game. We had a clear game plan and that really stifled them and gave us a good opportunity to get back into the game.

“It’s always hard to concede a goal within the first few minutes but you have to stick to the game plan. We didn’t panic, we knew what we had in our minds would work and it did.

“I think ultimately we didn’t do enough to quite win the game. It was a sloppy goal in the second half but we come away with a point and it’s a good point.

“I don’t think we really created enough to win the game. Defensively, it was a really sloppy goal to concede. We dug in there, we didn’t control the game as much as we wanted to and that ultimately cost us the game.”

It was a big night for the captain himself, as he scored his first goal of the Premier League season.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: James Ward-Prowse of Southampton celebrates after scoring from a free kick during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Southampton at Selhurst Park on December 15, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
James Ward-Prowse celebrates his equaliser at Selhurst Park (Photo: Matt Watson) 

“It was nice to finally get one in my range and in my ideal position really. I know Jack Butland well from the England 21s and I knew it would be something special to beat him, he’s a great keeper.

“I have this feeling sometimes once I’ve struck the ball that I know it’s going to go in and thankfully it got us back in the game.

“More expectancy comes with the more I’m scoring which is a nice feeling but equally when I miss them it’s even more disappointing.

“It’s a nice healthy pressure and it was good to get my first of the season, hopefully there’s more to come.”

In terms of Saints’ other scorer of the evening, Chelsea loanee Armando Broja, Ward-Prowse had nothing but praise for the youngster.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Armando Broja of Southampton celebrates after putting his team 2-1 up during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Southampton at Selhurst Park on December 15, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Armando Broja celebrates his goal at Selhurst Park (Photo: Matt Watson)

“I think he had a bit of a slow start but week by week he’s gradually grown I think as a person. He’s very confident around the place which is great.

“He’s a young guy. We’ve got a few really young lads playing together tonight which is great to see and he led the line well.

“He’s a good physical presence, he can run in behind, hold the ball up, he’s got great technical ability and took his goal really well.

“It’s always great as players because there’s so many games to come that we can always put things right if we’ve had a bad result but equally a great chance to build momentum.”

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