Sam Allardyce believes that the short turnaround between matches proved too much of an obstacle for Crystal Palace to overcome, as they fell to defeat against Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park.
Christian Eriksen’s goal 12 minutes from time ended the Eagles’ resistance, who visibly tired in the second half having only had 72 hours to recover from their hard-fought 2-1 win against Liverpool on the weekend, and the Palace boss felt that the extra day’s rest that Spurs had on his team proved pivotal in the game’s final outcome.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Allardyce talked about:
The game: “I thought the performance in the first half was much better than Sunday, and we took the game to Tottenham whenever we possibly could which is not an easy task with the quality that they’ve got.
The lack of recovery time for us from Sunday to tonight told in the end and that made us not able to challenge Tottenham as much as we did in the first half, and they got in the game a little bit more.
“After that, it was about whether we could be as resilient defensively as we have been, but unfortunately with Eriksen’s goal we couldn’t. It was a terrific effort and a terrific performance, and the lads tried their very best to keep Tottenham out.”
Mamadou Sakho’s injury: “We think it’s a ligament, but which one we don’t know. We certainly hope it’s not the cruciate but it could be the medial or the lateral, but it certainly looks like a hyper-extension of the knee and we wait and see what the scan shows. With such a short amount of time left we won’t know if any of our defenders will get fit again and we might have to rely on Damien [Delaney] and Martin [Kelly] for the remaining games of the season.”
Defensive options: “The last place we would have wanted an injury today was at centre-back, but in saying that we’re very blessed that we have five centre-backs at the club at the moment and we could have been in a terrible situation with Scott Dann, James Tomkins and now Mama Sakho injured.
“Normally we wouldn’t have had any centre-halves left to put in, but at least we have Martin Kelly who has been excellent and was outstanding again today, and the experience of Damien Delaney to step in. We’re going to need them from now until the end of the season.”