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'International break will help Crystal Palace get over Brighton defeat'


STEVE Parish was as disappointed as anyone after last Sunday's defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion and said the players were sad to let the Eagles fans down on such a big day.

He felt Palace were the better side for the majority of the first half until Leonardo Ulloa's deflected opener before the break, and accepts the match meant a lot to the supporters.

But has urged them to continue backing the team in their promotion bid.

"It was disappointing for everybody and I know the fans were upset," he said.

"The rivalry is important, but it was three points and we've got to get some perspective on it because our season is more important than one game.

"For 43 minutes, I thought we were the better side. It's Championship football – Will Buckley puts that cross in the only place where it's going to drop for a striker, and the striker misses the header and it hits him, but if he heads it I think Julian Speroni would have saved it.

"Then they scored a world-class goal from a free-kick. We could have taken the 1-0 score into half-time, but we can't legislate for free-kicks like that.

"And the third goal I felt we let ourselves down and then it's a long way back when you're away from home.

"If you look at our season, we've had results exactly the other way round.

"Once you go one-down in Championship football, you chase the game a bit, but we went in two-down, so it was a big hill to climb.

"But we're still in it and we can still go second on Good Friday against Birmingham City – all is not lost. We're not a bad side overnight just because of one bad result."

David Lopez's free-kick to double Brighton's lead on the stroke of half-time was extremely impressive and Parish admitted it had to be of the highest quality to beat Speroni.

"He got it almost in the top corner off the crossbar, so what can you do?" he said.

"There was no real danger, but we didn't expect him to do that.

"We've had a number of free-kicks against us this season in similar positions but just one has gone in – you have got to hit something there to beat Julian.

"And Julian wasn't even that far away from it."

With the international break now in everyone's thoughts, Parish says the focus will shortly turn to Birmingham City's visit to SE25.

"Rivalry is good and it's nice that somebody is that bothered about us – every club needs a good healthy rivalry.

"I went in the dressing room after the Brighton game and everybody was down – they all knew what the game meant and they were all upset.

"It's good now we've got the international break to get over the result.

"We've put it behind us and that's what being professional is all about. We can't dwell on it – it was just a bad day at the office.

"We're looking for a reaction now and that will be three points against Birmingham."

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