Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has urged his side to be “braver” against Bournemouth on Saturday following a dispiriting defeat by Fulham.
The Eagles had both Tyrick Mitchell and James Tomkins sent off during a 3-0 loss at home to capital rivals Fulham on Boxing Day, with former Arsenal and France star Vieira labelling the reverse as “one of his worst days” in charge of the south London club.
“The quality has to be better, but I think the (Fulham) game will remind ourselves about the other side of the game,” Vieira told a pre-match press conference on Friday.
“What we do when we don’t have the ball, how we win the second ball, where you put your head when other players are putting their feet.
“This competitiveness we had in other games, we need to get it back straight away.”
Palace are 11th in the Premier League table and six points clear of the relegation zone, but Vieira was in no mood to let up on the Eagles.
“There are a lot of aspects of the game we need to cover, but first of all it’s competitiveness,” he said.
“It happened during the (Fulham) game where you are going through a difficult period and you have to compete and try to win the second ball and we didn’t do it enough.
“We weren’t brave enough to play going forward, we played going backwards and that has to change. We have to believe more in ourselves, more in what we are trying to do.”
The World Cup-winning midfielder added: “We still have a lot to improve on and off the field. It’s important for us to understand where we are and how competitive this league is.
“If we want to improve, we have to make the right decision to help the team be more competitive. We’ve had some really good performances, but (Fulham) wasn’t one of them.”
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