Crystal Palace's Dann still learning the ropes in an increasingly miserly defence

Learning curve: Scott Dann says the more he and Damien Delaney play together, the better they will become                SP81947

Learning curve: Scott Dann says the more he and Damien Delaney play together, the better they will become SP81947

First published in Sport Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

Scott Dann may have 250 first team appearances to his name, but the Crystal Palace defender is still learning new things.

The 27-year-old, a January signing from Blackburn Rovers, slipped into the centre of the Palace defence alongside Damien Delaney and the pair have not looked back since.

Between them they have more than 700 appearances, but have only featured alongside each other in five of them.

The latest was the Premier League 0-0 draw at Sunderland on Saturday, and while goals at one one may be hard to come by, the defence is becoming increasingly hard to get by.

In their five games together, Palace have conceded five goals – two of which to champions Manchester United.

Dann said: “Damien and I already have a decent understanding of how each other plays, and the more we play together, the better we’re going to get.

“He has played a huge number of games at a high level, and between us we have great experience.

“But that does not mean we know everything, we’re learning all the time – as a professional you have to do that because the game changes very quickly.”

He added: “It helps that I have settled in very quickly and been able to hit the ground running.

“This is only possible because the lads are a good bunch and they made me feel very welcome.”

Dann is a life-long Liverpool fan, and when the sides meet in the penultimate game of the season there is every chance both sides will need the points for very different reasons.

The former Birmingham City and Coventry man said: “Hopefully we will have done what we need to do between now and then, but it goes without saying that if it came to it, I want the points for Palace.

“We have to make sure we get the points we need to stay in the Premier League, that is our focus and as a team I believe we have the quality to achieve that.”

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