Tuesday, 2 April 2013

01/04/13 League Blackpool (a) 1-0 loss

April Fools Day 2013. You could be forgiven into thinking that the kick off was before midday. But if you think this was a joke then you're a fool. Kick off was long past midday and the opportunity to erase the memory of the last two results was there for the taking.

Visiting Holloway's former club was perhaps a stumbling block in the fixture list. As part of the agreed deal, Kevin Phillips could not take part. And all on a pitch that more resembled the beach a stones throw away rather than a playing surface. That in itself would counter act the skills that players such Bolasie and the returning Zaha could offer.

It's not as if the home side had nothing to play for, they are under real threat of relegation. That just makes the fixture potentially tougher than it was already but we were given a lifeline just before the half as Barry Ferguson saw red for a secon booking. But as anyone will know from playing the game, playing against a team with only ten men is not as easy as it sounds. There becomes the seige mentality throughout the team but even so, on a very tiring pitch Palace should have made the most of the opportunity. We did have the more chances but through a combination of lack of composure and the pitch playing a part we just could not grab a goal. And it was the sucker punch courtesy of Matt Phillips that game the home side all three points they perhaps did not deserve.

The result is our third defeat in a row since the draw at home to Leeds. In saying that, we are not the only team to be struggling for form. When you compare the last ten games there are plenty of teams around us. Take Leicester for example, one of the favourites to get automatic promotion. They now sit 7th and a point behind Brighton who have a game in hand. If there was any time we wanted our form to dip it is now before the run in. If we continue in this vein and happen to make the play offs then we will be sitting ducks. We have seven games to arrest the slump starting with Barnsley at home Saturday. Easy fixture most would say on paper, but we all know this is not the case. There are no easy games in football and the remaining seven all look like being very tough indeed.

Boss Ian Holloway said: "We're not making things happen for ourselves. It is really important at this time of the season that we all stick together. It's the worst run we've had since the start of the season and it's the wrong time to do it. We've just got to dust ourselves off, get up and get on with it."

View from The Eagles Beak: Not an unexpected defeat but one that we really did not need at this moment in time. The team just aren't getting things to happen on the pitch at the moment and have certainly lost their mojo. If this continues at home this weekend then we should really be concerned about our play off potential.

01 Speroni
27 Delaney
28 Ramage
03 Richards (Wilbraham 89' )
04 Parr Booked
07 Bolasie
08 Dikgacoi (Moritz 72' )
15 Jedinak
11 Dobbie (Williams 72' )
16 Zaha
17 Murray

Unused substitutes; 34 Price, 02 Ward, 33 Gabbidon, 12 Marrow

Ref: Haines Att: 14,373 .

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