Alan Pardew is hoping that training camp in Barcelona will provide a timely boost to his Crystal Palace players after a wretched run of recent form.
With a trip to face Tottenham Hotspur in the fifth round of the FA Cup on the immediate horizon, there will surely be plenty of Palace fans who are happy for the coaching staff to try anything and everything to break the dreadful recent cycle of poor results for the Eagles.
Whilst the team’s performances haven’t been dreadful in recent games, there was a distinctly flat feeling to the atmosphere inside Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon, with many almost expecting Troy Deeney to pop up with a second goal prior to the finial 10 minutes.
The Hornets’ late winner proved to be the fifth time in this season alone that Alan Pardew’s side have conceded a goal in the final 10 minutes of a home game to drop points, an extremely worrying statistic on a number of levels.
Although our focus now turns to the FA Cup for a few days, you get the distinct feeling, from his words above, that Pardew would instantly swap a victory at White Hart Lane for one against West Brom in the Premier League the following weekend.
Whilst Palace remain eight points clear of safety, four of their next six league games are against Liverpool, Manchester United, Leicester City and West Ham, placing a huge amount of pressure on the team’s shoulders to pick up their first league win of 2016 at The Hawthorns in two weeks time.
You can feel the anxiety creeping into Pardew’s words in the interview above, even though he is understandably doing his level best to hide any sense of trepidation from the press. No manager would feel comfortable with a run of form similar to his, regardless of what the months before had brought.
Let’s hope the warm weather training does both he and the players some good. Maybe he could smuggle a Barca player or two back on the plane with the squad.