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Crystal Palace evolution was needed to catch Brighton and is going quicker than expected, says Steve Parish

AFP via Getty Images
By @JackRosser_
14 January 2022
S

teve Parish says Crystal Palace's summer evolution was sparked by a need to get closer to rivals Brighton on the pitch and that the Eagles have progressed quicker than expected.

After years of Roy Hodgson's pragmatic and effective football kept Palace in the Premier League, a change of direction was made over the summer.

A host of senior players were moved on at the end of their contracts while Hodgson was replaced by Patrick Vieira, who has ushered in a more progressive and exciting style of football with a far younger squad.

After the signing of Eberechi Eze under Hodgson, this summer followed Joachim Andersen, Marc Guehi, Michael Olise and Odsonne Edouard to spark life into the squad at Selhurst Park - and Parish feels Palace are much further ahead than they had planned to be.

"People like Andros Townsend and the manager we had before were part of a plan we had and did a fantastic job for us over two or three very difficult years and kept us in the division," Parish told Sky Sports ahead of their derby against Brighton.

"But we knew we needed to play more football, we needed to get close to these guys [Brighton], these guys play incredible football.

“My history of this club is we play a low block, when we had Ian Wright, we stay in the division for a period and when we lose that fantastic talent at the top of the pitch we find it difficult and fall out of the division.

"So we need to evolve, we need to find a better way of playing football and it's happened a bit quicker than we thought it would so far this year and long may it continue."