Sunderland vs Crystal Palace: Relegation is 'creeping up on us,' says Alan Pardew

The Eagles' slump in fortunes has meant relegation anxiety has replaced hopes of European football

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The Independent Football

Alan Pardew has warned his players that a relegation fight is “creeping up” on Crystal Palace after their winless run was extended to ten matches with defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

The Eagles succumbed to a 3-2 reverse at the Hawthorns on Saturday evening which leaves them eight points above the relegation zone with 11 matches still to be played. 

Pardew’s men are preparing to travel to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland before welcoming Liverpool to the capital on Sunday afternoon. 

Speaking ahead of the clash with Sam Allardyce’s Black Cats on Tuesday night, the 54-year-old said: “We were cruising but suddenly it [relegation] is creeping up on us. We need to put it right, at Sunderland or against Liverpool. We need a win in one of those games.”

Goals from Craig Gardner, Craig Dawson and Saido Berahino enabled West Brom to surge into an early three-goal lead, which ultimately proved an unassailable one, before Connor Wickham reduced to deficit with two well-taken strikes in the second-half.

“For the first 30 minutes they swamped us with aggression and power,” Pardew said at full-time. “Their front two caused us problems but our front two didn't and our distribution wasn't good. The first half was a shock to me, the goals went in quickly, and it knocked our confidence. In the second half we were a completely different side.”

Palace then face an FA Cup sixth-round tie with Championship side Reading, who knocked West Brom out in the previous stage, before hosting Premier League leaders Leicester City at Selhurst Park on March 19.