Allardyce blames ‘fear’ for poor form – and says Crystal Palace have lost their identity

Sam Allardyce believes Crystal Palace’s poor run of form is down to a lack of self-belief – and claims the club has lost its identity.

Palace have not won any of Allardyce’s first five matches in charge since he succeeded Alan Pardew just before Christmas.

They face a replay with League One side Bolton in the FA Cup on Tuesday before hosting Everton in the Premier League on Saturday.

And, speaking at a press conference ahead of the Bolton game, Allardyce explained why he felt his team were still struggling.

“I think it’s fear at the moment, and a lack of belief in themselves,” he said.

“They’ve got to have more resilience. They’ve got to fight to stay in the game.

“We have to work hard to get that belief back and, ultimately, that only comes through getting results.

“The players have the responsibility to try and play without the fear that can strike you when you’re in such a bad run.”

Allardyce also said he felt a commitment to bringing back an identity of making the most of Palace’s underdog status in games.

“For whatever reason, the identity of the team in terms of the way it is playing, has changed,” he said.

“When I was at West Ham, I saw Crystal Palace come and thrash us 3-0. It was all about how good they were by using the possession that they had, which was far less than the opposition but was so effective.

“We need a bit more pace in the side, which is why we bought Jeffrey Schlupp, and defensively, we’re conceding too many goals.

“That is an area of my expertise. I’ve started in that area – it hasn’t worked yet, because we’re still conceding goals, but hopefully it’ll work in the end because it is my responsibility to stop the goals going in.”

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