Football: Coppell deep in the doldrums

Crystal Palace 0 Coventry City 3 Telfer 1, Moldovan 40, Dublin 77 Attendance: 21,810

DION DUBLIN sent Crystal Palace to the bottom of the Premiership table by breaking a Coventry goalscoring record and helping his side set a club best of seven successive wins in the process.

Those are some of the facts and the stats, combined with the one about Palace still being without a Premiership home win all season which may well tip the balance when Terry Venables decides whether to accept an offer to become Palace's new manager tomorrow.

Dublin scored the third, his 63rd goal for City to pass Cyrille Regis' top-flight record, with 14 minutes to go, against a Palace side which had already had their spirit drained by first-half goals from Paul Telfer and Viorel Moldovan. As Coventry continue to hit new heights, Palace are as low as they can go with little sign of climbing back up.

The current Palace manager, Steve Coppell, claims to be as clueless on his future as the club's supporters while the takeover attempt of the computer businessman Mark Goldberg progresses unpredictably. But Coppell's pride does seem to have been hurt by his death-row status and it has not been easy to protect his players from the distractions. "Ask the players how they feel," he snapped. "Back to the drawing board? It's worn out," he smiled. "Panic? I've changed my underpants three times already.

"Look, I'm going home to prepare for training on Monday and will do that until told otherwise. But I have not got my head in the sand. I recognise the situation and if it has been decided that Terry Venables is the right man for the club then I will go along with it. I'm a Palace supporter and will do my best for the club."

Coppell has no option but to carry on as if nothing is wrong, but that freedom does not extend to his players who were very poor despite the necessity to win this match.

The defender Dean Gordon was on a mission from the start, charged with the will to make amends for his contribution in the midweek FA Cup defeat by Arsenal, when he was sent off for conceding the free-kick which led to the winning goal. So imagine how he felt just 47 seconds into this crucial game when he committed a schoolboy error to gift Coventry the lead.

Gordon was under no pressure to clear after Darren Huckerby's fine run and cross but took his eye off the ball and missed it completely. Telfer had watched it all the way and pounced to shoot into the back of the net before Gordon could recover.

Ironic cheers greeted Palace's first shot on goal, but they showed sufficient spirit to get back into the match and Andy Roberts lifted one of a few long-range shots a foot over.

The game and the atmosphere fell so flat for a while, you could measure it with a spirit level. Maybe the turgid midfield battle was what put the Palace defence to sleep when Moldovan scored Coventry's second goal in the 41st minute. Huckerby rolled the ball to him 10 yards beyond the penalty area and Moldovan strolled forward unchallenged before sliding the ball into the net.

Headers from Bruce Dyer and Hermann Hreidarsson almost forced a Palace goal just before the break but, with their confidence at such a low ebb, a fightback seemed unlikely. Palace attempted to attack in the second half but were finally defeated when Dublin came up from defence to head in a 76th-minute Telfer cross. Up went his hands, down went Palace.

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

News
John Moore inspired this Coca Cola Christmas advert
people

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel your sales role is l...

Agricultural Solicitor - East Midlands

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EAST MIDLANDS MARKET TOWN - A new and exciting...

English Teacher Thetford Secondary

£110 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: An Academy based in Thetfor...

Secondary Teacher Great Yarmouth

£115 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad are currently work...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes