Belfast Telegraph

Allardyce blames the fixture pile-up for Crystal Palace loss to Swans

Crystal Palace 1 Swansea 2

By Declan Warrington

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce blamed defeat on the fact struggling Swansea - who have just appointed Paul Clement as boss - had an extra day between games. The win moved Swansea off the foot of the table just a point behind Palace.

"What went wrong? Not enough recovery time, no doubt about that. The energy of the players just couldn't get us in the faces of Swansea, they had an extra day and that told. You could see that," said Allardyce.

"Our lads put so much in against Arsenal and you saw the effects of that. It wasn't an even playing field.

"It's difficult to take. We have all the science we have, we know the fatigue levels and the high intensity runs the players make and we knew they wouldn't be able to make them tonight. And they couldn't. Perhaps I picked the wrong side, I should have changed four or five.

"Whether you're tired or not you have to play and I told them that at half time. I was baffled with our first-half display, we were lumping the ball to Christian Benteke and who told them to do that? They were confused.

"It was a blatant penalty on Christian Benteke, outrageous that it wasn't given. That would have been a great lift."

Swansea first-team coach Alan Curtis, who picked the team that beat Palace 2-1, said: "It is a terrific result for us and a huge three points. The first half performance, we were excellent and we could have gone in with more than the one goal.

"We have been accused of lacking character but we came back and won it and I thought we deserved it. In training you can see the players have the ability, it is just the confidence that has been lacking. We deserved some luck today.

"Any team under Sam Allardyce will come on strongly, they have some terrific players. We had 24 hours more rest compared to them and that may have made a difference."

On the club's new manager, who joined Curtis in the technical area later in the match, Curtis added: "He came down for some moral support, he made his presence felt at half-time."

Swansea took the lead in the 42nd minute, Alfie Mawson back heading Gylfi Sigurdsson's cross into the net but seven minutes from time it looked as if Palace would claim a point through Wilfred Zaha.

But in the 88th minute Swans sub Leroy Fer chipped a superb pass to fellow replacement Angel Rangel who controlled before calmly shooting home.

Belfast Telegraph


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