Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has told the Croydon Advertiser he’s worried about the way the side are conceding goals at the start of games.
The Manchester United owned attacker was speaking after Palace’s victory against Southampton in the FA Cup where his side found themselves 1-0 and 2-1 down inside the first 20 minutes.
“I am just glad we managed to get back into the game really,” he said.
“We gave away sloppy goals away at the beginning but we can’t keep doing this every game.”
The obvious risk in conceding goals early is that Palace aren’t always going to fight back and get a result in the same way they did against the Saints.
It’s also a frustrating theme for Alan Pardew because conceding goals early means the game plan he’s been working on with the team in training can go out of the window quickly.
That forces the manager to think on his feet, potentially reshuffling things in his team and that affects the players mentally early on.
It should be something that Pardew can deal with effectively.
He’ll urge the defenders to keep their defensive focus early on in games, to try and not leave themselves so exposed across the back, which instantly invites pressure.
However, it’s not all about the manager and the players need to step up and do their jobs to, with Palace’s key leaders needing to ensure that no one is asleep at the start of important games.
Sloppy goals means harder work for any side and fortunately on this occasion, it didn’t cost Palace dear.