Crystal Palace assistant manager Ray Lewington reflected on his side’s loss against Hertha Berlin this afternoon, admitting that the Bundesliga opposition "were good” and focussing on the coming week Palace have to “put it right.”
Following the clash, however, Lewington was asked about what it’s like for the team to play at Selhurst so regularly and while he struggled to give a definitive answer as to why the side fare worse in SE25 compared with their travels on the road, found great praise for the south London faithful and famed home of the Eagles.
“You try and win every match,” he said. “We’ve got fantastic support. We’ve got a ground that is hard to play at - you ask other people from other clubs, they don’t particularly like playing here even though last year they got some good results. We’ve got everything going in our favour.
“One thing could be that we’re a little bit more of a counter-attacking team than most, which means that we like teams coming onto us and when you’re at home, you’re going onto them. It’s not for the want of the supporters giving us great support every game and playing in a ground that has got a great atmosphere about it. We just hope we can put it right.”
At the end of last season, Lewington developed further on the issue which will perhaps have lingered in Palace fans’ minds before the start of the new campaign.
Speaking in May, he suggested: "I think it’s the opposition. The opposition come to us and at [their] home obviously they’ve got to come at us.
"I think that, in a way, suits us a little bit whereas when they come away from home, they probably sit in behind a little bit more cautiously. It's for us then to break them down, which we’ve done quite well except for the final shot, which has just eluded us in some of the games where we’ve had a ridiculous amount of shots - 26, 27, 28 - and we haven’t managed to score a goal.
"I think it’s the opposition rather than us: we don’t change. Our system of play is the same home and away, it’s just that the opposition play different when we play them at home with when we play them away."
Turning his attention to more specific matters, Lewington commented on recent permanent signing Jordan Ayew, who came close to netting this afternoon on more than one occasion.
Echoing manager Roy Hodgson’s sentiments that Ayew is a "dedicated and hard-working member of the squad,” Lewington sang the Ghanaian’s praises, saying: “[Ayew] gives everything every game. He’s a real trier. He works his socks off for the team, no one can ever accuse him of not giving 100% and so we’re happy he’s come back.”
For match reaction from Patrick van Aanholt and all the key moments from today’s clash with Hertha, head over to Palace TV now either by clicking here or ‘Palace TV’ in your app.