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FAN VIEW: With our strongest line-up, Crystal Palace can challenge the best

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COLUMNIST Robert Sutherland looks back on the glory of Liverpool - and ahead to this weekend's game at Swansea...

THERE are times when I feel angry at Crystal Palace. At their performances. At their tactics. At the mistakes made and at the players who make them.

Five defeats in six games gave that anger a great environment to grow – defeats are hard to take and when a few errors lead to them, they're even harder to accept.

But even in times like those, there's reason to be balanced. The performances that saw Palace lose to Hull, Chelsea, Sunderland and Man Utd and that saw us lose two points against West Brom weren't awful.

The Sunderland game was perhaps the poorest of the bunch, but in all of the games we played, we weren't outclassed and didn't look like we were out of our depth. We made costly errors and, against both Sunderland and United, failed to really get ourselves into gear. But they weren't intrinsically awful performances.

And there were also mitigating circumstances. Missing players contributed to the difficulty – our first-choice backline has barely played together in recent months, and after Damien Delaney's injury this week, that's likely to be the case once more.

The same goes for our midfield, which suffered from a lack of Joe Ledley and James McArthur in fleeting spells. While the squad could do with a greater quality of depth, you can't prepare for the number of injuries we suffered last month.

This in turn brings me to the Liverpool performance. In it, Palace played a side that most supporters would have picked. It's exactly the same squad that Neil Warnock would have assembled. The result, which came after heroic performances from every member of the team, was a fair one. It was a result that could, and should, have been replicated in previous matches.

The Liverpool result proved that, with our strongest squad available, we're capable of challenging the best (and the worst) of sides. What it should do is give the players the impetus to keep fighting. It should also give critical supporters a chance to review their own opinions and consider whether they were entirely justified.

Swansea City will provide a tougher challenge. But with the resolve shown against Liverpool, a win is possible.

Given that most of us were expecting a defeat to Liverpool, why not? 

FAN VIEW: With our strongest line-up, Crystal Palace can challenge the best


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