DEBUTANT Thomas Ince made an instant impact on the Premier League, bagging a goal and an assist in Crystal Palace’s crucial 3-1 victory over relegation rivals West Brom.
Ince, who joined on loan from Blackpool until the end of the season on deadline day, went straight into Tony Pulis’ side against the Baggies.
He netted the opener after just 15 minutes, showing great anticipation and an even better finish after racing onto a loose ball and deftly lobbing the onrushing Ben Foster.
Ince then turned provider 12 minutes later as fellow debutant Joe Ledley headed home his inch-perfect corner to double the home side’s advantage.
Afterwards the 22-year-old was delighted with his first taste of the top flight and was full of praise for his new club.
“It was great to get a goal,” he said.
“I thought it was going to be a free-kick and their defence stopped, but I didn’t hear the whistle go so I gambled, and if you don’t gamble you don’t score.
“It was a great header from Joe Ledley and it was fantastic to get an assist as well. It was a massive three points for us today from another six-pointer and we fully deserved it.
“We were under the cosh at times but that is going to happen in Premier League football and Julian Speroni pulled off some fantastic saves.
“We all just put a massive shift in and that was the key to the win today.
“As long as we continue putting in that sort of work-rate, I think we’ve got enough pace and creativity going forward to hurt teams and scoring three goals today shows that.”
Saturday’s win continued Pulis’ revival of the Eagles and the former Blackpool man has been thoroughly impressed by his new manager, in particular his often maligned style of play.
Ince explained: “The gaffer plays the games on percentages.
“We are not in a position where we can pass the ball across the back four looking pretty, we have to play to our strengths.
“When you have the likes of Marouane Chamakh and Glenn Murray up the middle you can feed the ball into their feet and then you have Yannick Bolasie, Jason Puncheon and myself running off of them. That’s how we work.
“We get the ball wide, get one on ones and get balls into the box.”
He added: “What we do is effective.
“I wouldn’t say it was straight direct because we look to play when we can in the final third where you can get shots off and create chances. That showed today.
“We suck the pressure up and then spring on the break and the gaffer knows exactly what he wants to do because he’s been here and done it before.
“The lads are really pulling in the right direction now.”
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