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From The Stands

17 February 2016

Simon Mills gives us his latest views on all things Crystal Palace including his view on that penalty decision. 
In all honesty, I really don’t know how to feel after our last game. There were so many emotions ranging from disappointment, anger and frustration, but there was also some sense of positivity. The first half covered pretty much all of those feelings, from watching a referee decide single handily for just one moment to disregard what seems to be common practice, just to be able to inflict the damage we so badly needed to avoid early on, through to what I think most would describe as a disappointing first half performance.
First of all, having watched it back, I can’t argue too much that by the letter of the law it wasn’t a penalty – it was. I also can’t argue that had it been in the opposite area I wouldn't be screaming wholeheartedly that we should have had it. 
What does irritate, however, is the number of times the same offence occurs – not just at Selhurst but all around the country and yet it is never given. In fact, in the same game and the same half no less, a corner at the other end had to be retaken as the referee warned one of their players for a similar foul. Why? Why a warning? He had given that penalty up the other end, the ball was in play and yet this same referee seemed to change his mind on what was and wasn’t a penalty.
This combined with the constant stream of decisions we didn’t get and every single infringement, we committed (foul or not) punished, if I was to write my exact feelings on the subject it would probably end up as an FA charge! So on that note, I will move on…
I mentioned our own performance and as I touched upon, the less said about the first half the better. The second was an enormous improvement and Emmanuel Adebayor’s first goal for the club can serve as some sort of encouragement as we look forward. We really are not having the rub of the green lately, even ignoring decisions, hitting the post and bar - yet again this could have been a very different result.
Fortunately, this weekend we take a break from Premier League action as we travel to White Hart Lane again to play Tottenham in the FA Cup. Our luck in this competition seems to be more favourable at the moment (the draw itself aside), with the game sandwiched between two difficult Europa Cup games for Spurs and a realistic charge at the league title on offer, this could be a very good time to play them in this competition.
It sounds very much like Yannick Bolasie will return for this one, something every Palace fan will take a long, deep sigh of relief about, which could be massive for us. Last time we played at ‘The Lane’ we were edged out by a full strength Tottenham team by a single goal. With the addition of Adebayor and factors already mentioned, I really do fancy us to get the result we need to put us through to the next round.
This would be a very good time for us to turn around our fortunes and while many will point to the fact our wins over Southampton and Stoke have failed to do so, victory over Tottenham and Bolasie’s return would certainly give everyone a major buzz – we certainly need some form of confidence boost ahead of our next run of games!
Our away form under Alan Pardew has been the envy of many a team, that has been interrupted recently, but there is no reason not to take it as a positive going into the game. The pressure of the ground should be firmly placed on Spurs and if we can frustrate them long enough, it can surely prove to be something we can use to our full advantage.
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