Frank de Boer could face axe

Kristopher Nichols
September 11, 2017

There were three changes for the visitors to the side which lost at home to Swansea before the worldwide break.

De Boer continued to emphasise the importance of time, that if given it, the players will adjust well to his philosophy: "I want players that recognise what they have to do in certain situations".

Responding impressively go going behind, the Londoners - without a point or a goal - nearly leveled straight away as Scott Dann saw a shot cleared off the line by Matt Lowton from the first of a barrage of corners.

That was the last effort from the hosts as they battened down the hatches and scrapped to hang on to the three points, which they managed to do thanks to Pope's excellent save from Benteke and Dann's very bad miss.

As for the home side, Chris Wood - who netted the equaliser against Spurs - makes his full debut as he partners Sam Vokes in attack, while Robbie Brady, Jack Cork and Steven Defour all make Sean Dyche's starting XI.

There was still time for Dann to miss the game's best chance, however, when he nodded wide from inside the six-yard box after Yohan Cabaye had floated an inviting cross in front of goal. The goal was at his mercy. Some neat Palace passing on the edge of the area resulted in Benteke wriggling into a one-on-one situation, but Pope stood tall to deny the Belgian. De Boer's side also lost at home to Huddersfield Town and Swansea City, teams that they would expect to be competing with to avoid relegation, and suffered an away loss to Liverpool.

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They now find themselves second from the bottom, and according to recent reports, De Boer could face the sack if Palace don't win on Sunday. But De Boer can't shoulder all the blame for that statistic.

It's hard to see de Boer abandoning his formation of three at the back. He described the fact they had failed to score as "unbelievable".

Going to Turf Moor won't be an easy task at all.

And there was a hint from the Dutchman he will be keen to continue with a blend of his passing preference and a more direct approach which perhaps better suits Palace's current squad.

"Everybody I think knows that we deserved more, but of course we conceded a sloppy goal", he said in his post-match press conference.

"Sometimes, though, as a manager you need to have time as well to build something, to create a certain atmosphere within the group and a certain belief to do well and get results. It's so fickle and so demanding, if you leave yourself open a little bit, people get to you, they worm in and it's very cold, very harsh".

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