Yet another defeat in what has been a miserable month for us, this one coming at home to Wolves. They struck twice in the last fifteen minutes to come away with a 2-0 win yesterday. Among their goalscorers was Kevin Kyle, who seemingly always scores against us.
On top of this Neil Warnock has put Shefki Kuqi on the transfer list after the striker responded to cheers upon his substitution with what was reported as “a crude gesture”. A bad end to a bad month – we only took two points from a possible 15 – roll on March.
Crystal Palace 0-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers [BBC Sport]
Kuqi transfer-listed over gesture [BBC Sport]
Did I say last week that we’ve taken one point from our last three games? Let’s make that one point from our last four games, following Ipswich’s 1-0 win at Selhurst Park last night.
To make things worse, the winning goal has been described as “Danny Haynes’ fortuitous goal”. Wonderful. When was the last time we had a goal deflect in off one of our own player’s heads? (And no, Andy Johnson’s goal against Liverpool in 2005 was intended, therefore it doesn’t count.)
And as if losing 1-0 to Ipswich didn’t sound familiar enough then there was also the matter of Julian Speroni dodging another red card. This game is done and dusted, but thankfully there is no suspension to deal with as well.
It didn’t sound as if the gaffer was too pleased though. “I thought one or two experienced players let us down. I was disappointed with certain areas tonight and I’ve let the players know.” This season is starting to look like one where we’ll finish in mid-table.
Crystal Palace 0-1 Ipswich Town [BBC Sport]
And by this I mean losing 2-0 at Charlton, Luke Varney with both goals in the second half for the home team.
I’m not particularly keen on the strategy of being a goal down late on, bringing on Shefki Kuqi and taking off Clinton Morrison shortly afterwards. I know who I feel is more of a threat in front of goal. Anyway, I’ll give Warnock a mulligan on that given his recent run. However the current form guide shows us having gained one point from our last nine, something we need to improve if we want to make the play-offs.
Charlton Athletic 2-0 Crystal Palace [BBC Sport]
Not the way you’d like to follow-up your first defeat in a fair while. Having taken the lead in the final twenty minutes through James Scowcroft we then had Ben Watson hit the woodwork twice, only for Shaun Derry to lose possession and have Southampton work a move which ended with Stern John levelling the scores.
It was the concession of possession which appeared to annoy Neil Warnock the most. “We got punished with an elementary defensive error by Shaun Derry,” he said after the game, adding that Derry, “is one of our most experienced players.”
This is our last Saturday game for three weeks. Next Friday we head to The Valley for the return game with Charlton.
Crystal Palace 1-1 Southampton [BBC Sport]
I’m getting to like Sunday mornings lately. As our run up the table has continued so we’ve featured more and more on ITV’s Championship coverage, and that continued this morning with yesterday’s 2-0 win over Bristol City at Selhurst Park. Our goals came from Clinton Morrison (via a somewhat fortunate deflection) and Mark Hudson’s late header.
Neil Warnock said afterwards, “The dressing room here is super. The formula is hard work, it isn’t rocket science. But there is a lot of ability in the team as well.”
Our next appearance before the cameras is a feature length edition, with the Sky cameras following our trip to Leicester City next Monday.
Somewhat shockingly given where we were when Warnock took over we’re now up to fifth in the table on 44 points, a mere 4 points behind second-placed Watford.
Crystal Palace 2-0 Bristol City [BBC Sport]
We all know the frustrations of ITV’s coverage of the Championship. The changing times, the condensed shows when there is a clash with a Grand Prix, and the fear that they might forget about the Championship completely if they’ve got Champions League game to promote.
(By the way, am I the only person who can’t be bothered with the Champions League? Too much hype, too much bias, same old games and outcomes… yawn.)
Anyway, to be safe each week I’ve set my Sky+ to series link The Championship, and this week I got a treat. With Palace already two up thanks to Clinton Morrison and Sean Scannell we got a spectacular third from James Scowcroft, who hit a wonderful volley to wrap up the points. Moments like this make having Sky+ completely worthwhile.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-3 Crystal Palace [BBC Sport]
My early days of supporting Palace are filled with memories of seeing us play Norwich, due to my Dad’s business connections. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen us beat them in a league fixture (although the Zenith Data Systems Cup is another matter), and they again frustrated us in yesterday’s New Year’s Day fixture at Selhurst Park.
Darel Russell opened the scoring early on for Norwich, while Clinton Morrison got our equaliser early in the second half.
Neil Warnock pointed out that we’ve now played four games in ten days, but on top of that we’re now unbeaten in thirteen games as we head to Watford in the F.A. Cup.
Crystal Palace 1-1 Norwich City [BBC Sport]
Funny feeling, having a late lunch on Saturday with a Palace win already secure. Neil Warnock’s hyped return (by the Sky coverage anyway) to Bramall Lane resulted in a 1-0 win thanks to James Scowcroft’s neatly taken goal in the dying stages of the first half.
Warnock was gracious in victory, stating “I had a fantastic welcome and couldn’t have asked for anything more.” He also threw out the first mention of a phrase we didn’t expect to hear this season: play-offs.
Oh, and Lee Hendrie is a nasty thug. Don’t expect Palace fans to forget you leaving your studs in on Julian Speroni in a hurry.
Sheffield United 0-1 Crystal Palace [BBC Sport]
… a victory over our ex-boss who’s ugly.
Sorry, couldn’t resist.
Second half goals from Clinton Morrison and Paul Ifill did the trick for Palace, along with a great penalty save from Julian Speroni.
Even better, our former manager didn’t sound very happy. “The two goals are a joke… Clinton Morrison shouldn’t be on his own in the box unless he is offside and then we are mugged at the end of the game when we are chasing it.” Shame.
Next up is a trip to Neil Warnock’s former club, Sheffield United. For those us – like me – who enjoyed snippets of coverage today on Sky Sports News will be pleased to learn that Saturday’s game is live on Sky.
Coventry City 0-2 Crystal Palace [BBC Sport]
What a December Palace have given us. Another win – 2-1 at home over Plymouth Argyle yesterday – saw us move up to 10th in the Championship, where we will now be for Christmas Day.
The early season struggles seem like years ago, and for that much of the credit must go to Neil Warnock. I’ll admit to being sceptical about his appointment but in a results-based business he has won me over.
Yesterday’s goalscorers were Clint Hill and James Scowcroft. Next up are Coventry City, who we will face at the Ricoh Arena on Boxing Day.
Crystal Palace 2-1 Plymouth Argyle [BBC Sport]