Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has spoken on his team’s shortcomings in recent weeks ahead of their game against Liverpool this weekend.
Liverpool boast a strong record away at Selhurst Park, winning on their last seven visits including a 3-1 victory last season which could make matters worse from Vieira. However, the two teams played out a hard-fought 1-1 draw in the early knockings of the season, a game in which Darwin Nunez was sent off for a headbutt on Joachim Andersen and this promises to be another tight encounter given Liverpool’s inconsistent form this year.
After back-to-back wins in the league for Liverpool against Everton and Newcastle, they fell to a crushing 5-2 loss at Anfield mid-week against Real Madrid which all but confirmed their exit from the Champions League. The onus is now on Jurgen Klopp’s side to bounce back and refocus on securing Champions League qualification.
For Palace, it’s no wins in seven with their last win coming away at Bournemouth on New Year’s Eve. Since then, they’ve slipped to 12th in the table and are six points off the relegation zone as it stands.
Fans will still be frustrated following Brentford’s 96th minute equaliser last weekend, as Vitaly Janelt denied Vieira’s side what would have been a precious three points.
Speaking ahead of the Liverpool game, the Palace boss revealed what’s holding his team back at the moment. He contended: “I think it’s just a lack of confidence at the moment, a lack of belief. I think what’s important for us is to keep creating those situations and those chances, and keep working hard in training to try to score those goals, because in those moments of the game, it’s important to take those chances.”
However, he believes that the home support and atmosphere can help lift them against the Reds. He continued: “I think the soul of this football club is in the fans. Every time that we play at home, they always respond, so it’s really important for us to create that momentum and create that energy from the fans and try to play as best as we can with discipline and concentration.”
He also revealed the extent of their injury issues confirming that key men Wilfried Zaha and Tyrick Mitchell both trained today but they are waiting until tomorrow to see if both or either can make the matchday squad.
On top of that, Sam Johnstone is ruled out but defender Nathan Ferguson could return to the squad after featuring for the U21’s.