Frustrated Crystal Palace boss bemoans breaks in front of the Saints goal

Streatham Guardian: Frustrated: Tony Pulis watches his Palace side lose 1-0 at home to Southampton Frustrated: Tony Pulis watches his Palace side lose 1-0 at home to Southampton

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis cut a frustrated figure following the Eagles’ 1-0 home defeat against Southampton on Saturday.

Jay Rodriguez got the solitary goal, capitalising on a slack back header from Jason Puncheon, before winning a 50-50 challenge with Julian Speroni and then hooking the ball home.

Pulis said: “I am not sure I would call the goal comical. You’ve got to give Rodriguez a lot of credit. The kid showed some great appetite to get there initially.

“It’s a poor header from Punch, we don’t deal with it and Rodriguez has the tenacity and energy to win the challenge with Speroni and that’s the difference.”

The game saw Palace cause the Southampton defence numerous problems, but the failure to convert in front of goal again was all too evident from the side that have scored the fewest goals in the Premier League - just 19 goals in 28 matches.

“We just needed a break in front of the goal,” said Pulis.

“If we would have got that I think we would have relaxed a bit more and we might have created more opportunities.

"We’ve got in more than 20 crosses today but the disappointing thing was that we didn’t create more chances, more opportunities.

“In the first quarter of an hour both Glenn Murray and Joe Ledley got past their back four and onto goal but the linesman’s given both offside but they were onside and that was very disappointing.”

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino said that coming to Selhurst Park was one of the toughest games of the season but that was of little consolation to Pulis who knew that the game would be hard to get something from.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” said Pulis. “We competed very well, but they’re a good side; they’ve got some good players. We’ve watched the last three games they’ve played and they’ve got some real quality.

“In tough, tight games, you need a break and we didn’t get a break today.”

Pulis now has to ensure his side move on and shift their concentration towards the away trip on Saturday to the north east where they will face Sunderland in a relegation six-pointer.

Palace currently sit just two points above the Premier League relegation places and a defeat would see their opponents move above them in the table.

“The most important thing is that you stay really focused,” said Pulis.

“The lads are very, very disappointed because they’ve worked very hard today and got nothing out of it, but that’s the Premier League for you.

“They’ve got to understand there is quality in every team you play and you have to really be on your mettle – you’ve got to concentrate for 90 minutes to get results.

“We’re going to have runs of games where we not going to get the points we want - we’ve got to stay focused and make sure the lads stick together and that’s what we’ll do.”

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