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Talking Tactics with Mark Bright: WBA

27 October 2014

After every Eagles game this season, Palace legend Mark Bright delve deeper into the result for and give his take on how the game unfolded. This week he looks back on the 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion.

All the two's spring to mind when I look back at our match against The Baggies last Saturday.  
Two up at half time, two goals conceded in the second half and of course the final score. But most importantly it was two points dropped.
Away wins are vital in the battle to reach 40 points and I can’t help but think that this encounter should have resulted in our second win on the road from five away games played.
It could all have been very different IF Mark Clattenburg had given us a penalty for the challenge on Wilfried Zaha inside the box and IF he had blown for a foul when Craig Dawson's elbow smashed into Julian Speroni's face (obviously, had he seen the incident he would have had to issue a red card to Dawson, therefore reducing the home team to ten men). 
Ironically in the six minutes of time added on at the end of the game for the treatment to Julian, West Brom managed to win and convert the penalty that snatched two points away from us in what was a hard fought contest.
Like the fans, I always reflect on matches and say who could have done what and when.  For instance should Jason Puncheon have booted the ball down the line or out of play before we conceded the penalty?  In hindsight we all would say yes, but he's a passer and one of our play makers and sometimes the things we like about these types of player is their ability to do the opposite to what most players do in those situations. 
Jason added a lot to our side when he came on because he's composed, he can pick out a pass and he can relieve pressure by running the ball out of defensive situations.  I'm not sure if it was a foul on him or not but it wasn't given and we conceded a penalty and a goal that robbed the team of two vital points. 
I see a great deal of symmetry between the players and fans because the efforts on the pitch match the efforts of the fans on the terrace; strong, boisterous, vocal and determined, everything you want on and off the field.

After nine games we are just four points behind Manchester United, a team who’ve spent over £150m in the summer. Having looked at their opening fixtures it’s interesting to note that before Robin van Persie’s last gasp equaliser against table topping Chelsea on Sunday, Louis van Gaal’s men had faced three promoted teams, four teams who finished in the bottom half of the table and an Everton side who have stuttered during the early part of the season.  Would I have taken being just four points behind them at this stage of the campaign?  Absolutely! 

So, despite the disappointment of missing out on a deserved away win it’s onwards and upwards and I’m already looking forward to our first taste of Monday night football this season as we prepare for the visit of Sunderland.  We’ve had some glorious games under the floodlights at Selhurst over the years so lets make it another special occasion. #SelhurstNights 

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