CRYSTAL PALACE 0 vs SWANSEA CITY 2
BANNED Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway shouldered the blame for his side’s defeat to Swansea yesterday, as he completed a two-match touchline ban and was forced to watch helplessly from the Selhurst Park stands.
Michu’s second minute strike and a 48th minute goal from Nathan Dyer sealed the points and a comfortable win for Swansea.
And while Holloway was angered his players failed to do the “basics”, he felt his absence from the touchline, due to comments made about referee Mark Clattenburg in the aftermath of Palace’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham last month, was ultimately to blame.
“I felt estranged and out of it,” he said. “They’ve got to feel the manager’s with them, so please blame me.
“The changes I chose to make with the new lads coming in, it looked like they were strangers. That’s as bad as I ever want to feel. I didn’t enjoy any minute and it was my fault for not being on the line with them after losing my temper against Tottenham.
“The lads have had a volley from me because if I’d had that Palace shirt on I’d know what it means to me. I would have chased back and got back, I’d have known my job and that’s the bare minimum.
“You’ve got to learn and the games are ticking – 33 to go.”
After Michu rifled in the opening goal Chico Flores hit the post and an Angel Rangel volley forced a fine save from Julien Speroni.
But Dyer did double the visitors’ lead shortly after half-time, turning in debutant Alvaro Vazquez’s pull-back to inflict a fourth defeat in five league games on the Eagles.
Palace’s afternoon was made worse when defender Damien Delaney was forced off with an ankle injury, which Holloway described as looking like it belonged to “an elephant”.
“It’s completely swollen up and you don’t normally get that without a problem,” Holloway added.
“He’s got an ankle like an elephant. Our worst area is in the backline. The only cover I had on the bench was a midfield player.”