Tuesday, 2 April 2013

29/03/13 League Birmingham City (h) 4-0 loss

I was surely not alone in thinking that this game was set up for us to bounce back from the disappointing derby defeat on the south coast. I will say no more than that in reference to the previous game. All we wanted was a reaction from the players and in front of the live television cameras.

The hope was that playing a side that had failed miserably this season and were struggling in the bottom half of the table would be just the medicine. And at home with our incredible record this season, what was to go wrong?

I admit, we didn't look that bad in the first half. Even though going a goal down didn't particularly stir the players, it did more to the fans. That's not counting the second goal. Two down at half time both courtesy of some poor defending which in truth has been our achilles heel this season. The second half didn't get any better. We huffed and we puffed but the visitors went four goals up, perhaps undeservedly. This was truly a reality check. Conceding as many as seven goals in two games will do that.

I don't play the blame game. Some will say that we missed Zaha, serving a one match ban for his gesture to the Leeds fans even though he received a torrent of abuse that day. I admit, that outlet would have been welcome but he may not have had much of an influence on the visitors goals. I'd rather suggest that international games had more of an influence on this game with the likes of Jedi, Williams, KG and Richards representing their countries.

Boss Ian Holloway said: "No one was expecting that, I certainly wasn't. Unfortunately I have got to deal with it right now. I think we started the game brightly, got behind them a couple of times. We didn't pick out the right ball, didn't get people on the end of it and then their goal seemed to affect everybody out there, which is completely unusual. Then they got a second one from a set piece and I was expecting a response like we did away at Watford. I can't remember my team missing as many balls flying across the box or making as many wrong decisions as they did out there and they've gone and scored four. That is the last thing we need but we've got to get on with it. We have to bounce back and deal with things better. It is simple as that."

View from The Eagles beak: Far from the response anyone connected with Palace wanted or even expected. It was pure shock. The good thing is that the next game isn't far away to try and make amends.

01 Speroni
21 Moxey
27 Delaney
33 Gabbidon
03 Richards (Dobbie 46' )
07 Bolasie - booked
08 Dikgacoi
15 Jedinak
20 Williams (Moritz 70' )
09 K Phillips (Wilbraham 70' )
17 Murray

Unused substitutes: 34 Price, 02 Ward, 28 Ramage, 04 Parr
Ref: Robert Madley
Att: 17,189

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