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Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira laments ‘brutal’ Brighton draw and vows to rebuild Jordan Ayew confidence

·2-min read
Patrick Vieira was cruelly denied victory in his first Crystal Palace vs Brighton derby  (REUTERS)
Patrick Vieira was cruelly denied victory in his first Crystal Palace vs Brighton derby (REUTERS)

Patrick Vieira bemoaned Crystal Palace conceding a last-gasp equaliser against rivals Brighton as simply “brutal”.

The Frenchman looked to be on course for only his second victory as Eagles boss in Monday night’s derby at Selhurst Park after Wilfried Zaha had scored his eighth career goal versus Brighton on the stroke of half-time, sending goalkeeper Robert Sanchez the wrong way from the penalty spot after the inspired Conor Gallagher was barged over by Leandro Trossard.

However, Palace were made to pay for a glaring late miss by Jordan Ayew, when, in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time, former Brentford striker Neal Maupay lobbed Vicente Guaita to spark jubilant scenes among the visiting supporters.

"This is the word - brutal, because we had a good game," Vieira lamented after the full-time whistle.

"It was a really challenging game, playing against a good team but we scored before half-time and in the second half they didn't create many chances.

"We had the chance to score the second goal, didn't take it and then we conceded at the end. It is brutal and I am really disappointed for the players because they worked hard to get the win."

It is now 35 games since Ayew last scored for Palace after he was played in perfectly by substitute Christian Benteke but could only fire meekly into the side netting.

Vieira insists such a disappointing finish stems from a lack of confidence and tasked himself with helping the Ghanaian forward to restore belief.

“Jordan was like every other player, everybody was really disappointed not to take the three points,” the manager said. “Obviously Jordan missing the chance was important but when he doesn’t score, especially a forward, here is a lack of confidence and self belief.

“It is my responsibility to bring him back to what he can do and scoring goals.”

Tempers raged between both sets of players in ugly scenes after the final whistle following that late drama at Selhurst, but Vieira accepted the flare-ups as simply part and parcel of a passionate derby contest.

“This is the derby and in derbies there is a passion, teasing fans and players, this is part of the derby and one of the reasons we all love these games,” he said.

“When it is not going over this limit, this is something we all accept.”

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