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Allardyce Rues Fatigue Factor

3 January 2017

Eagles boss Sam Allardyce believes that playing just two days after their game against Arsenal contributed to their 2-1 defeat against Swansea City at Selhurst Park this evening.

Angel Rangel netted an 85 minute winner for the Swans who had the benefit of an extra day’s rest from their previous game, and despite not pinning all the blame on that factor alone, Allardyce believes that it played a massive part in the result.

In his post-match press conference, he talked about a range of topics, including:

Reasons for the loss: “Fatigue is the main reason [for the defeat] and not having enough recovery time compared to Swansea. It was blatantly obvious and our energy levels couldn’t get high enough to stop them passing the ball, and then after that we got very nervous when we were in possession and wasted far too much of it.

“The performance in the first half just wasn’t good enough, and despite the fatigue level that would have made them struggle, I still would have expected them to play much better than they did. It’s not all down to that though, when you have the ball at your feet you have to pass it to one of your players and whoever is in front of the ball have to give better movement and options. That frustration was apparent by the fans booing at half-time and I didn’t blame them as it wasn’t good enough.”

Team selection: “I have to take a bit of responsibility by picking almost the same side as we did against Arsenal which was the wrong thing for me to do. Having not been here long enough to make a better decision I chose to stay with most of the lads so maybe I could have put fresher legs on because I saw the influence of Fraizer Campbell and Sako and it lifted the rest of the lads.”

Set-pieces: “It’s difficult to do something when you’re on the bench then – do you try and change the shape or put a substitute on or try and get to half-time and put it right. We tried that but sadly we conceded another goal off a set play. It’s clearly been worked on before I was here and has been since so I’m disappointed conceding that goal that way and they have to stop that.”

The winner: “We’re in a good position and Swansea have barely had an attack in the second half, and then when they did we froze and allowed Rangel to run right through the middle and score the winner, so it’s been a difficult night for us all, fans included. It’s a bigger challenge after three games than I expected.”

Situation he finds himself in: “We rallied in the second half but when we did we should be here with a point now and a very previous one, but we’re not and so we’ve made life much more difficult to go and get safe. After 20 games and 16 points it’s a massive gap to try and catch up.”

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