Scott Dann didn’t attempt to paper over the cracks after he and his teammates fell to a 2-0 loss at home to their former manager yesterday afternoon, admitting that losing the opening goal so early on was a major blow to our chances of victory.
With Pulis’ sides having always been known for their strength at set-pieces, the corner will allowed James Morrison to head home after just two minutes came as a huge setback to a Palace side who had been flying off the back of four consecutive wins in recent weeks, forcing us to alter our game plan dramatically from the very start.
Speaking honestly about our shortcomings, Dann told the official site:
We knew that we didn’t really want to concede the first goal against one of the ex-manager’s teams as you know that if they get the first goal it’s always going to be difficult.
“After that we threw everything at them and it didn’t fall for us, nothing went out way in the box and we pushed really hard to try and get that goal but we couldn’t get back into the game.
“They made it difficult, there was no space anywhere on the pitch, especially in their own half, and we forced things a bit too much at times. We probably should have mixed up our play to try something a little bit different so we played into their hands but they defended well on the day.”
“We’ve been on a great run, we’ve come into the game high on confidence and we felt we were going to get the three points today.
“We conceded the early goal which was a big setback for us and we couldn’t get back into the game but these things happen in the Premier League. We’ve got to pick ourselves up and move onto the next one, and take the confidence we gained from the last four wins into the last five games.”
There is no one who would deny that on the balance of play, we did arguably deserve at least a point from the game, but as we all know far too well, a sucker punch such as Craig Gardner’s long-range strike shortly after the start of the second half can easily take the wind out of anyone’s sails when they are already chasing a game.
Should we be able to get ourselves in front early on next weekend against Hull, you would assume that we could easily push on and secure another three points, leaving yesterday’s frustrating performance firmly in the past.
We move on.