Sam Allardyce has admitted that only time will tell if Crystal Palace’s exit from the FA Cup is a blessing in disguise after they were beaten 3-0 by Manchester City in the fourth round.
Goals from Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Yaya Toure sealed victory for Pep Guardiola’s men, but with the Eagles scrapping for their Premier League lives, Allardyce is hoping that the chance to focus solely on the league will benefit his team in the long run.
In his post-match press conference he talked about a number of issues, including:
Cup exit: “Only time will tell if that is a blessing or not but you want to try and win every game you play, and we’ve lost the habit of winning. Our game is OK in parts and we look quite comfortable, but then we make errors and the first two goals today proved that opposition of Manchester City’s quality will punish you. For me it’s still about working to minimalise those errors and that if we do make one, them we don’t allow the opposition to score but that was the problem again today.”
The game: “I thought we were going to get to half-time at 0-0 after we recovered from a sticky start where City controlled proceedings for the first 15 minutes and we found it difficult to keep the ball, but we worked our way into the game and had a couple of half-chances before conceding a soft goal.
“We picked things up again and Loic’s [chance] was the main one, and who knows what might have been if he had put that one in the back of the net. We chased the game because it’s the FA Cup and you have to get back in it, but we opened up and the second goal was City at their best.”
Yaya Toure’s possible sending off: “They should have been down to 10 men as he had been booked for less a minute before that, so that was a sending off. For me, with the consistency that the referee had shown during the game that was a certain yellow card, but I have more to worry about, such as the goals we conceded, than referees at the moment.”
Substitutions: “Schlupp is a big blow with a hamstring problem so he’ll be missing for a while. We wanted to get Loic on the pitch so we did 45 minutes apiece for those two [Remy and Benteke] because of the load we have coming up for Tuesday and Saturday, so that was tactical, as was McArthur coming on.”
Patrick van Aanholt: “I think it’s close but I’m not absolutely certain it’s finished yet. He is with us and hopefully he’ll be involved on Tuesday.”
Andros Townsend: “I have no idea what the situation is with Andros other than Steve [Parish] has not told me that Newcastle have made any kind of bid for us to consider. For me that’s not even in the back of my mind.”