Patrick Vieira hopes home comforts can help Crystal Palace return to form
The Eagles host Leeds on Monday night eager to end a three-game losing streak.
Patrick Vieira believes Crystal Palace have got their FA Cup disappointment out of their system and are ready to finish the Premier League season strongly.
The Eagles lost 1-0 at Newcastle in midweek to make it three defeats in a row, after Chelsea beat them in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley on Sunday and Leicester had downed them earlier this month.
A seven-match unbeaten run prior to this mini slump had raised talk of a top-half finish and a potential cup win, but Palace return to Selhurst Park for the first time in three weeks on Monday ready to get back on track against Leeds.
Vieira said: “We don’t have any doubt and I don’t have any doubt about the atmosphere when we play at home.
“I know the fans will be there to give us what we need to perform but the fans can only do one half of the work, we have to do the other half. We have to go on the field, with that desire and competitiveness that we know we can do and that will allow us to have more chance of winning the game.
“We’re going through that kind of process. I think the FA Cup against Chelsea did take a lot from us to digest and we have to find a way to keep going to the end of the season. The players will work and do that.”
A poor first half at St James’ Park on Wednesday suggested a hangover after Wembley for Palace, but they improved after the break.
“The players know themselves that especially in the first half we didn’t start the game in the right way,” Vieira added.
“After we were much better in the second half, with more determination, more togetherness and we matched Newcastle’s level of competitiveness.
“The team, players themselves, were not happy with the way we started the game, so we have to start in a different way but we have to try to keep it for 90 minutes.”
Palace will need to check on Michael Olise for the visit of Leeds after he was forced off early at Newcastle having only recently recovered from a foot issue.
Captain Luka Milivojevic was absent on Wednesday with a hamstring problem but could be part of the squad on Monday night.
“With Michael, we were off yesterday and today so we have to wait until tomorrow but we took him off early in the game as he wasn’t feeling 100 per cent,” Vieira explained.
“The rest of the side is good. Luka is still doing some training and will train tomorrow with the team.”
Leeds, who sacked Marcelo Bielsa in February and replaced him with Jesse Marsch, have won three of their last four games.
Vieira said: “They’re a good side, who – like the majority of teams in the Premier League – play with a lot of energy.
“They have got pace and they have a new manager with a different philosophy but they’ve been doing well so we expect a challenging game.”
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