March 10 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
When Crystal Palace and Norwich City wearily slugged away through the driving New Year’s Day rain, Chris Hughton’s pre-Christmas musing over the packed festive schedule felt pretty accurate. With each uncoordinated attacked, it seemed New Year’s Day really was a game too far.
It’s certainly been a push for winger Robert Snodgrass, who made his return from a knee injury with 90 minutes at Sunderland on December 21 – and has started three more games since then in 11 days.
Two points from such a run wouldn’t have been palatable before. Retrospectively, the view is the same.
But given the circumstances, Snodgrass was happy to leave Selhurst Park with a share of the points after the archaic stands – and City’s resolve – were given a buffeting.
“Here, I think with the way the weather was, in the first half there was only one team trying to play. We got the ball down and played it at times and it was quite nice to watch – even in these conditions. Conceding the penalty right before half-time knocked us a little bit.
“I can’t remember Palace having any major chances. It was more set-pieces, and it was then hard to get going in the second half.
“We dug deep and away from home, a point is a good result. But on overall reflection of the game, I thought there was only one team that was going to win it.”
The final six first-half minutes were the game changes, from City’s lead to Marouane Chamakh’s lucky escape after a tangle with Wes Hoolahan – and finally, Jason Puncheon’s penalty.
“I don’t know what Wes has done to get booked,” added Snodgrass. “After only seeing the back end of it, it looked more Chamakh. But the referee decided on that and I don’t really like to look much at a negative.”
Which leaves a City winger trying to find the positives from those howling south London gales.
“It was a very difficult game to play in,” said Snodgrass. “From my point of view, against Manchester United I caused them a few problems and that’s what I want to try to do.
“I’ve played three games on the bounce now, coming back from a knee injury and I’m not going to lie, it’s been very hard. I’ve just tried to work as hard as I possibly can and sometimes it doesn’t come off for you. Sometimes it does. But today was very hard for me and Nathan (Redmond) to cause them problems.
“Palace are a dogged team, they’re in your face. The way we were playing it wasn’t really getting it wide and into the box. It was more get the ball in behind – and we ended up playing exactly the same way as them. It suits them, the way Tony Pulis has got all his teams playing. It happened at Stoke as well.
“The conditions were the same for both teams and I think the first half we did well.
“The second half I don’t think we did as well as we know we can do. But as I said, the conditions played their part.”