Luka Milivojevic has urged his Crystal Palace team-mates to learn from the mistakes they have been making as a promising start to the season begins to falter.
Since their clinical victory at Fulham the Eagles have lost four from six in the Premier League and have slid to 13th in the table having wasted chances to establish themselves among the top 10.
Manager Roy Hodgson most recently spoke of his concerns surrounding their discipline after Mamadou Sakho’s reckless challenge gifted Bournemouth the late penalty that ensured Monday’s 2-1 defeat at the Vitality Stadium.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) October 2, 2018
Alexander Sorloth had needlessly conceded a free-kick shortly before that to gift the hosts the attack that led to that penalty, and it was also a lack of discipline that contributed when Palace lost at home to Liverpool.
By also dropping points against Watford and Newcastle having missed multiple chances to take the lead, Hodgson’s team again undermined their own chances of success.
Milivojevic said: “We dropped a lot of points. I cannot say we are not experienced, because we have a lot of experienced players in our squad.
“But we have to learn to deal with situations when we score, when we concede. That is something that we can correct.
“We had Watford where we created many chances at 0-0 and lost. We had Liverpool; they had a penalty in the last minute of the first half. Games we played very well.
“We had Newcastle where we played very well and should have scored two or three goals. (Against Bournemouth) as well at 1-1 we should carry on the same to score one more or keep 1-1.
“If we take a point or three (against Bournemouth) I would say we played a perfect game. But when you lose it is a bit different.”
Asked what Sakho had said about essentially costing Palace a point, Milivojevic responded: “He said he did not kick him. He pushed him to the body and stepped back. He said it was not (a penalty) but the referee (Mike Dean) gave it.
“I told the referee it was very cheap. From my point of view, in the 86th minute to give this kind of penalty you have to be sure. He said he is 100 per cent sure and what can you do?”
At 1-1 in the second half on Monday, Palace had looked the likelier winners, but Bournemouth showed greater intent and twice should have taken the lead before Junior Stanislas’ penalty.
Their victory and that desire came after they had lost 4-0 at Burnley in their previous league fixture, and their manager Eddie Howe said: “We’re confident that we have a goal in us at any time, and match-winners in the team who can turn a tight game in our favour.
“The most important thing for me is that the spirit and togetherness in the group is as strong as it’s ever been, which is a huge quality to have.”