Belfast Telegraph

I fear for Crystal Palace, says Big Sam Allardyce

By Declan Warrington

Sam Allardyce has revealed how "scared" he is that Crystal Palace will fail in the "crisis" of their battle to avoid relegation.

Allardyce - whose side came from behind to overcome Bolton Wanderers in last night's FA Cup third round replay - is also concerned about the damage failure would do to his reputation as a survival specialist.

The Eagles appointed Allardyce as Alan Pardew's successor in an attempt to arrest the decline that had left them at risk of dropping out of the Premier League.

Allardyce had remained in demand, despite losing his job as England manager in September after just 67 days, and continues to be considered the ideal man to help clubs avoid relegation.Since his arrival, however, Palace have lost three and drawn two of the six fixtures he has overseen, meaning they are above the drop zone only on goal difference.

Allardyce's success in inspiring Sunderland to survival last season appeared the greatest of his career and contributed to his recruitment by England, but Palace's squad is yet to respond to his methods and he said: "I am scared that we won't succeed.

"I'm not fearful of losing my job; it's the fear of not wanting to blemish my record.

"What we have to do is see ourselves through this crisis. Let's face it, we are in crisis mode."

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