Christian Benteke says that recent criticism of the Crystal Palace team and Roy Hodgson was fair given their performances, but the win over Brighton was a perfect way to bounce back.
Palace were on the back foot for much of the match at the AmEx Stadium, holding Brighton out despite sustained periods of pressure from the hosts.
There was some incredible last-ditch defending from Hodgson’s side to keep them in the match throughout the second half, before Benteke added the winner in stoppage time with a stunning volley.
The striker admits that things have not been going well for Palace, but it was a case of job done on the night and he hopes it will prove to be a springboard for the rest of the season.
“I think the recent games we played we were exposed and we conceded a lot of silly goals,” Benteke said after the match.
“Last night the plan was to be compact and to play as a team. I am always ready. The Premier League is the best in the world and you can’t put a player on the side I will say.
“Every 90 minutes the game will change so you can’t give up like that. That is what I have been doing since I was here, even though I have been through a hard time I was always there and I will always be there.
“I think [the criticism] is fair because we’ve got a lot of good players and when you have a bad spell the fans won’t be happy. We have to face all the criticism that we’re going to get, the manager and us as players but this was a great result for us and a big boost for the rest of the season.
“I think we bounced back now and it was the right time, we played against our rivals and got the job done. Now let’s focus on Sunday.”
Benteke also said that it was good to send a reminder of just what he can do, but added that Hodgson has always supported him and there is plenty of mutual respect.
“It is always nice to remind people,” Benteke added. “I have never doubted myself and that is the most important thing.
“I never set a target, I just want to score as many as I can. I take it game by game because everything can change really quick. I want to score every game and that is what I want to do whenever I’m on the pitch.
“I think because [Hodgson] knows that no matter what happens I am a professional. I never cause any harm in the team, I have always been there and working hard, being patient.
“He knows we have respect for eachother and that is how it should be. He is the gaffer, the boss and we have to respect his decision.”