Palace defender on how Pulis tried to lift players after Newcastle heartbreak

Eagles defender Adrian Mariappa. Picture by Edmund Boyden.

Eagles defender Adrian Mariappa. Picture by Edmund Boyden.

First published in Crystal Palace Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , sports editor

Adrian Mariappa has revealed how Tony Pulis will not let the Eagles dwell on the disappointment of Saturday’s heartbreaking injury time 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United.

Crystal Palace looked to be on their way to picking up back-to-back 0-0 draws in the north east after the previous weekend’s scoreless point at Sunderland.

However, Newcastle’s Papiss Cisse had other ideas and popped up to head home Hatem Ben Arfa’s 94th minute delivery to deny the SE25 side a deserved share of the spoils.

Pulis was unhappy afterwards as the goal came after the three minutes of stoppage time but Mariappa says the manager quickly his attention in the St James’ Park dressing room to this Saturday’s vital home date with Chelsea.

The defender said: “I didn’t know it was 20 seconds over at the time but the gaffer is a positive person and he wanted us to look ahead to the next week, that’s how he is.

“He doesn’t get too down, and we can’t get too down about things. We can point at things and blame people but at the end of the day we left with no points.

“We’ll look over the game again, look at the goal and what we can improve on.”

Cisse’s winner came immediately after Glenn Murray had been denied a free-kick for handball against Mike Williamson, leaving the sucker punch even harder to take for everyone in the Palace camp.

Mariappa admitted: “Football can be cruel sometimes. To concede like we did in the last minute, whether Hatem Ben Arfa meant to cross it or not, it was one of those things.

“I thought we should have had a handball down the other end, then they come back up and score.

“That shows how small decisions can make such a big effect and change the course of the game.

“But we will move on and take a lot of confidence from it.”

He added: “I thought we played well, we were disappointed not to come away with a clean sheet.

“We have been solid of late and not conceding too many goals.

“That can only stand us in good stead for going forward.

“Sometimes you don’t always get what you deserve in football but we take a lot of positives and we move on to Chelsea.”

The positives for Mariappa and the Eagles from the Newcastle trip came largely at the start of the second half when the Eagles assumed control, with Yannick Bolasie almost firing them in front when hitting the woodwork.

“We created some good chances right in front of goal and we exposed them at times on the counter, which we’re going to do a lot of as we have some great wingers and forward players,” said Mariappa.

“Everyone works so hard defensively, so that’s why we came away from St James’ Park unlucky not to get a clean sheet. As an XI we defend and when we attack we all attack together.

“We are all working hard together and training really well every day. We know that will help and come good for us. We just need to keep believing.”

Follow @NewsShopperSprt for live updates from Crystal Palace v Chelsea on Saturday

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