Crystal Palace defender Gary Cahill admits some pressure has been lifted after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Newcastle.
The Eagles claimed their first victory of 2020 after eight winless fixtures thanks to Patrick van Aanholt’s free-kick strike.
Roy Hodgson’s troops had slipped to just six points off the drop before the game but a bigger cushion has pleased Cahill.
“We’ve had a couple of games without a win, we were aware of the pressure,” said Cahill, who captained the side in the absence of Luka Milivojevic. “I felt in the dressing room we were aware of how important the game was to go out and win and we did that so it’s a great feeling.
“It’s easy to say [go on a run] but don’t look over your shoulder, look at what’s in front of you and where you can get to. We realise we’ve had three not so good results. Along the way we’ve had some good performances, like the Sheffield United game at home but we didn’t get the win.
“So we needed the win, whether that’s by playing well not so well it’s the three points that were important. So it’s very nice to get the three points off the back of a good performance. We deserved to win.”
Cahill added to Palace TV: “It was a great free-kick, [Van Aanholt] has that quality. The wind was for his advantage as well, so it went in like a rocket.
“He’s scored a couple of goals this season, I thought he played very well but everyone put in a fantastic shift. We’re now in a better place and need to put our foot down and look forward and not behind.”