Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce says the busy festive period hampered his team massively on Tuesday night as they suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat at home to Swansea City.
Allardyce, who succeeded Alan Pardew on December 23, was hoping to record his first victory since taking over at the third time of asking.
However, the 62-year-old former England boss couldn’t inspire his players as they suffered a 2-1 loss to fellow strugglers Swansea at Selhurst Park.
Palace will need a big improvement if they are going to stay up, having now gone six league matches without a win.
Last season’s FA Cup finalists, who are 4.00 to be relegated, were playing their second game in the space of three days, having lost 2-0 at Arsenal on New Year’s Day, and Allardyce has slammed the fixture planners.
“The lack of energy the players had showed massively,” he said. “Some people say it’s rubbish but it’s not – the players were trying 100% but they were not physically able to reach their usual levels.”
Palace, who travel to Allardyce’s former club Bolton in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, return to league duty on January 14 when they face a trip to West Ham.
The Hammers are favourites at 2.15 to pick up all three points, the draw is priced at 3.40 while the Eagles are a 3.20 chance.