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  1. Work-rate. Incisiveness. Nous. I don't ask for much. This is how it's gonna be. Build from the ground up. It's pretty hard to motivate myself to start a match thread after such a chastening evening for the team the night before. Can sort of imagine how Dave must feel when he has to write match reports and other content when you feel so dispirited. They do say though that the best way to get over a setback is to clear your head and get back on the bike. This game, like nearly all of our remaining league fixtures for however long we last in the Europa League, takes place on a Sunday. And boy oh boy do we need to get back on the bike. That said, last year's corresponding fixture saw us in similar form to this past week. It was also a microcosm of our malaise until the last couple of months of the season, as we were too easy to open up at the back. while lacking precision and ruthless efficiency up front. For all our possession football, we struggled to create real chances. Mo fired wide from inside the box, and Darwin was played in only to mishit his effort which bounced off the far post and stayed out. Then we got sucker-punched when Eze got between 2 of our players too easily on halfway and played a ball into Zaha's run. The Ivorian had stayed onside and had space and time to pick his spot, firing his effort into the far corner. The game's biggest talking point came in the second half when Darwin was goaded into retaliating by Palace defender Andersen, who duly hit the deck after being shot. Officials are like WWE refs in these situations, only looking at the retaliatory act rather than the cause. Actually, that's not quite an accurate comparison, and besides, I used to love Eddie Guerrero's shenanigans when the ref's back was turned or if he just so happened to have been 'accidentally' floored. Tierney was the ref, and Darwin was made to walk. His home debut was a dud and it's fair to say he's never really taken off after that. We did eventually get an equaliser, and what a goal it was too. Lucho picked up the ball in his customary left wing spot and dribbles his way through and around 3 or 4 weary Palace legs before hitting a rocket past the Palace keeper. We have seen similar goals from the likes of Sadio and Phil. Anyway, a point only as we continued our winless start to the season. Palace replaced Hodgson with Oliver Glasner a couple of months ago. I don't really know how he's got on as from what I can tell, Palace's general results have followed a familiar trajectory. I know Eze has been in and out with injury issues, and I think Olise is out long term. Whatever they've got, we can't allow them to show it. The crowd may get nervous and edgy if we don't start sharply, but my hope is that the players are so angered by what happened against the Mancs and Atalanta that they want to make every opponent pay for it. Starting with Palace. We've been getting players back from injury, but one or two that have played a lot recently are showing signs of mental fatigue. Those guys need a rest so the ones coming in are hopefully ready. Whoever is selected to start and be on the bench needs to be right up for the fight. I want ruthless efficiency and precision in attack, I want the midfield to dominate and I want the defence to be controlled and impenetrable. That requires maximum motivation, concentration, attitude and application from first minute to last. 3 points please. Get it done!
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