Good evening everyone, got your breath back after that frightening second half?
Yikes, that took some sitting through. I was pretty pleased to be 2-0 up at half-time after goals from Tom Soares (ably setup by Scott Sinclair) and Jose Fonte (with a scorcher of a volley), although I might have changed that view after seeing us sit back and invite Stoke to attack us during the second half.
As it turned out all Stoke could muster in reply was their own thunderbolt from Glen Whelan, and while that provided us with an even more uncomfortable last few minutes it wasn’t enough to stop us from leaving the Britannia Stadium with three points.
Neil Warnock summarised the result by saying, “It’s not easy coming to Stoke, you know you are going to be very physically tested throughout. I thought we played some great football at times and we scored a couple of good goals too, which helped.”
Best of all, we’re back in the play-off places. With 4 games to go can we stay there?
Stoke City 1-2 Crystal Palace [BBC Sport]
Hmm, probably not the way that Neil Warnock envisaged his first home game as Palace manager. Despite Dougie Freedman’s equaliser Palace ended up being on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline.
Among the visitors and main talking points tonight were the Miami Dolphins’ cheerleaders, or for anyone who is a fan of Fighting Talk might know them as: “Let’s hear it for Gary O’Reilly!”
On a more serious front it sounds as if Warnock is still evaluating what he has to work with. “I can’t fault the players for effort – perhaps one or two are trying too hard,” he said, before continuing, “At 1-1, I thought we would go on and win it, but instead they picked us off.”
As an additional thought, what has happened to teams like Stoke and Portsmouth, who used to be certainties for 4 or 6 points every season, to suddenly develop winning runs against us? Shouldn’t this be balancing up somewhere? Coventry City and Nottingham Forest, I hope you’re taking note of this.
The fixtures don’t get any easier either. The next visitors to Selhurst Park are league leaders Watford.
Crystal Palace 1-3 Stoke City [BBC Sport]