Sam Allardyce believes fear is effecting Palace's home performances

Sam Allardyce believes fear is effecting Palace's home performances

The Eagles are still winless at home under their latest boss, and Saturday's defeat to Sunderland has left them in the relegation zone.

Jordan Owusu-Adu

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce believes that fear is the players' biggest issue, after an embarrassing 4-0 defeat to Sunderland at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

The Eagles are still searching for a home win under Allardyce, and the boss says that they "have to overcome the fears that we have playing at home”.

“It’s not down to the fans, they don’t put them under a huge amount of pressure compared to the other clubs that I’ve have managed,” Allardyce said after the game. “They want to support them but we have to give them something to get behind. I apologise for what they saw in the first half.”

Horrid first half

The Black Cats opened the scoring in the 13th minute when defender Lamine Kone volleyed in from close range, before Didier Ndong doubled their lead with a powerful long range strike from the edge of the penalty area.

The result was sealed in first half added time, as striker Jermain Defoe easily made his way into the box on two occasions to double the scoreline. “When the first goal went in they lost control and you have to keep control mentally when you play this game, much more so when you go a goal down,” said Allardyce.

“When the fear takes over, then the mind gets confused and we saw players doing a lot of stuff that we couldn’t have envisaged in the frailties shown by our defending in the first half and the four goals that they scored.”

Reality check 

The game was a complete contrast to the Eagles previous performance, where they picked up Allardyce’s first victory away to Bournemouth. “We played a very good game with that system at Bournemouth and then completely lost the way we should have played with the system at home,” commented Allardyce.

The former England boss explained, “I had to change it to help the players get better but they have to do that themselves within that system because the way they performed in the first half just wasn’t good enough.”

There were a couple of unsavoury scenes involving the fans when the players left the field at full time, and Allardyce said that their frustration was understandable. “They (the players) have to accept that for the performance that they’ve given."

He added, “In today’s Premier League they expect to see a lot more entertainment than they’ve seen all season and, as the results tell you, it’s been an all-season problem.”

Palace, now second bottom in the league, travel to 11th place Stoke City on this Saturday.