Early Burnley strike sees off struggling Palace

Burnley are now four points outside the play-offs with two games in hand after their 1-0 home win over relegation threatened Crystal Palace.

Burnley are now four points outside the play-offs with two games in hand after their 1-0 home win over relegation threatened Crystal Palace.

Assistant manager Jason Tindall feels the Clarets are coming into form just at the right time.

"A clean sheet was important but it would have been nice to get more goals.

"It's always tough when you play teams who are fighting for their lives. We played some good football in the first half but had to dig deep and defend well in the second half.

"We kept the ball very well and it was an excellent first 45 - it was a shame we couldn't repeat that in the second half. But they threw everything at us and we defended well when we had to.

"What a strike the winner was though - it was worthy of winning any game. But we're just pleased we got the three points.

"Jay (Rodriguez) keeps getting better and better - nothing surprises me with him. He works hard, he's a fantastic finisher and what a strike.

"He is getting more confident and he is scoring goals. He is an exceptional talent and has a very bright future ahead of him. We are short in the strikers department at the moment so it is important we keep Jay Rodriguez and Chris Iwelumo fit.

"It's just the way football goes sometimes but hopefully they can continue to stay fit and continue to perform well. If we do bring a striker in it will be a player that will improve our team - if that person is available we will bring them in.

"It's an old cliche but we will continue to take each game as it goes. Our aim is to finish as high up as possible and by getting results like this, it is a good start for us.

"We are on a good run in the league and if we can continue, who knows where it can take us?"

Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman tried to take encouragement from the performance if not the final result.

Freedman said: "We gave it a right good go didn't we? In a strange way, if you're going to go down, you have to go down fighting like that.

"It's an encouraging sign from this team that we will not go down without a fight and we showed that.

"We show that week in, week out. Unfortunately it wasn't to be our day. We had chances, their keeper made a few good saves, we've been unlucky.

"We gave it a right good go but just came up a little short in the end.

"It's disappointing to concede in the first five minutes but after that our shape was good, but unfortunately it proved a big blow to us because it has ended up being the winning goal.

"I strongly believe that we have the characters in this team to defend the way we did and make chances and I'm more than confident in the coming games.

"The early goal didn't change the game plan at all. The game plan was working through the match but we created chances, had a good bit of possession but couldn't find that final ball."

Have your say