Patrick Vieira says he is “concerned” by the lack of goals in his Crystal Palace squad, adding that their forwards need to “change their mentality”.
Although they managed shots on goal in their 1-0 loss to Brighton, something they had failed to do in their previous three league outings, they failed to find the net for the fourth successive Premier League game.
With just four goals scored in 2023 and no wins in the last 12, the lack of leading edge is starting to become a real problem for Crystal Palace and it is worrying their manager.
“I’m worried about scoring goals,” Vieira said. “When I look at the performance of the team and I look at the work ethic and our organization and how the players execute our plan, I’m pleased with that.
“The concern I have is that when you create those chances but don’t take them, of course you start to worry about it. We have to score those goals.”
“The players, especially the forwards, have to change their mentality. We have to be more aggressive up front, we have to be more aggressive in the final third. I’m not going to stop pushing that I’m putting them in the moment until we get what we want.”
However, Vieira was pleased with the overall performance, which often tested an in-form Brighton in wear-and-tear circumstances.
The Eagles coach added: “When you look at all aspects of the game, the way we were organized, the discipline we had, how aggressive we were tonight, I was pleased with that.
“We defended well, we managed to win the ball in some really important parts of the pitch. But what let us down was our attacking play, our decision-making in the last third, not taking advantage of opportunities that let us down today.”
“The difference between the two teams today is that they had a shot and they scored, we had a lot of opportunities and chances, but we didn’t score.
“That’s the frustration I have today because the game part, the team, the players, they did well.
“It’s not about showing more positivity, it’s about showing the ingredients you need to win games. The players worked hard, they worked well, they competed.”
“I’ve never questioned the relationship or the trust I have with the players or the players in me. The way they’ve been playing, we’ve shown that we’re together and I don’t have any concerns about the relationships between me and the players.”
It would have been a bittersweet debut for 19-year-old goalkeeper Joe Whitworth, a lifelong Crystal Palace fan, as he replaced the injured Vicente Guaita.
He was also acquitted, with Vieira saying of the teenager: “It happened very quickly, but Joe has a very strong personality.
“He has the self-confidence and calm that allowed him to perform as he did. He showed a lot of good things and it’s even more special because he came from the academy.
“Playing his first game at a professional level in a derby and a difficult place, it’s good for him, but we couldn’t give him the victory that would be the perfect night for him.”
Adding an update on Guaita, Vieira revealed: “He had injuries after training [on Tuesday] and we have to wait 24 to 48 hours to see how long he might be out.”