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#PLStories- Crystal Palace full-back Joel Ward hails Patrick Vieira impact at Crystal Palace #CPFC

Joel Ward Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace full-back Joel Ward has spoken about the impact Patrick Vieira has had at the club since joining as manager and what the future might hold for them in the Premier League. Ward, who will be celebrating ten years as a Palace player next year, says that’s down to the number of hours being put in on the training ground, with Vieira and his coaching staff working hard to get the team playing their new style as soon as they came through the door.

Joel Ward said: “I certainly feel like he did his homework into the players which he had at his disposal and the players in which he wanted to bring in. From the very outset, he started working on his principles and you can all see the change that it’s had and the change of direction and vision that he is trying to implement. We’ve spent more time on the training pitch than I think I have done in my career so far – working on things and looking at things. It’s great because I’m learning so much myself and as a team and a squad we’re developing in that way.”

Ward has so far played as a more defensive right-sided full-back for Vieira this season, with his counterpart Tyrick Mitchell providing more attacking impetus on the left with Wilfried Zaha. This has allowed Palace to be flexible with their formation in and out of possession, with Ward explaining how that translates on the pitch.

Joel Ward added: “For me, it’s slightly different to the left side. Tyrick is pushing on a little bit more, almost into a wing-back position when we’re in possession, and I’m coming into almost the right side of a three.Then Jordan [Ayew] for argument’s sake will be that wide point for us, or Michael [Olise] or whoever is out there. So it’s slightly different – but that’s only for now. As things progress and things move forward there’s certainly more ideas and more things in the locker.”

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