Patrick Vieira urges Crystal Palace fans to play ‘huge role’ in preventing defeat


Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira delighted to be back at Selhurst Park on Sunday for an Everton visit and spoke volumes about how important the home fans are.

Eagles dressed in Merseyside aim to capture three-game losing streak in Premier League followed by an excellent two-month unbeaten streak.

A key mark of Palace’s early-season form has been their strength at home and while Aston Villa won at Selhurst Park last time, Vieira is keen to get back on track in front of their supporters.

He said: “The fans will have a huge role to play and the home game has come at the right time as far as I can tell.

“When you need to win the next game, especially for us the next, and you are at home, we know that for the fans, our support will be there. .

“We will have to perform well and try to win, but we know that the fans will play a big part in our performance. Like always, they’ll be there and that’s why I’m looking forward to the game. ”

Defeats against Villa, Leeds and Manchester United have threatened to derail the active work of Vieira and his staff since he replaced Roy Hodgson as manager in the summer.

The 45-year-old delivered a simple message to his players this week to help reverse their fortunes.

“I think consistency is the word that has always existed in the team, because we don’t want to throw away all the attack and good play we’ve had since the beginning of the season,” added Vieira.

“We are going through a difficult period, yes, but we expected it.

“The message and the mood at the training ground is the same but at the same time we know that there are some details we have to improve in order to turn those games into a win.”

Christian Benteke and Jordan Ayew missed bright opportunities in defeats to Leeds and Manchester United while those games went goalless.

Another aspect of Palace’s improvement is the ability to use the ball and they will be able to hold the ball quite well against a happy Everton sitting back and counter-attacking.

The Toffees’ Rafael Benitez ended their own lousy form on Monday with a 2-1 win over Arsenal, their first win since September.

But Vieira insists: “I don’t have to watch Arsenal’s game to know how good and dangerous this Everton team can be. I think when you look at the players and the manager, it’s clear this is a good team.

“Again, we’re just talking about games where they’ve lost or drawn, but if you look at the performance, I’m sure there are some positives that the manager is also happy with.

“For us, it will be a challenging game, but I believe we have what it takes to win and that is our priority. We want to perform and focus on our performance, which will allow us to win. ”

Palace right-back Joel Ward will return from suspension against Everton and compatriot defender Joachim Andersen (hamstring) could feature once he returns to training this week. James McArthur and Nathan Ferguson are still absent. Patrick Vieira urges Crystal Palace fans to play ‘huge role’ in preventing defeat


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