I’m sure I won’t be alone in saying that the nerves are already jangling ahead of Sunday’s home game against Hull at Selhurst Park; with my emotional state only made all the more fraught by Sam Allardyce’s inspirational message shown below.
Whilst Saturday’s hammering at the hands of Manchester City was extremely difficult to take for players and supporters alike, Sunday’s game against Marco Silva’s Tigers presents an entirely different set of problems, with nerves likely to play the biggest factor in deciding the final destination of the points in the closing stages of the game.
As of yet, our fans have been kept in the dark as to any potential recoveries in defence following the recent absence of Scott Dann, James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho but you would assume that Damien Delaney will almost certainly return at the heart of the back four to partner Martin Kelly if none of the aforementioned names are fit and ready to go in time for Sunday’s lunchtime kick-off.
Although huge numbers of Palace fans are openly fretting about the various scenarios that could play out over the final two weekends of the Premier League season, the vast majority of the game’s impartial “expert” pundits appear to be convinced that we are safe from the drop regardless of any potential selection crisis in the defensive third of the field.
To his credit, Big Sam has always talked an extremely good game and the snippet of an interview attached above proves to be no different from the norm. Having carved out a niche for himself as a “survival specialist” over the years I dare say he’s been drilling the players extremely hard all week long about the job that lies ahead of them at Selhurst Park this weekend but when the first whistle is blown, it will be up to the men he has selected to get the job done rather than him.
Ideally, we won’t be forced to endure any major scares between the first and last whistles but if we do have a tricky moment or two over the course of the 90 minutes, it’s only right for our supporters to stick with the players.
You can be sure Sam Allardyce and his coaching staff are doing all they can to prepare the squad as you read this, let’s just hope we have “11 fighters” as the gaffer has called for when the heat is really on.