‘We are concerned’: Vieira opens up on Crystal Palace relegation fears


atrick Vieira acknowledges he now counts Crystal Palace amongst the clubs battling relegation but denies he feels any more pressure in the manager’s chair than he did when he took the job.

The Eagles side sit 12th in the table with 27 points, just five more than 18th-placed Everton in the drop zone, and remain without a win since beating Bournemouth 2-0 on recent Year’s Eve.

Vieira’s tenure in south London has until now been the subject of occasional whispers, but Palace’s recent form – which has also seen them net just four goals across nine Premier League matches in 2023 – has turned up the dial.

The Eagles boss, however, remained largely unfazed, saying: “Pressure? I had the pressure since the first time I signed in this football club. I had the first pressure since the first game against Chelsea a couple of months ago.

“This is what the Premier League is about. I mediate every single manager has pressure to perform, to play European competition or to stay in the Premier League, and I see myself as no different from every other manager.”

He was more blunt about his side, who maintain played out five low-scoring or goalless draws in 2023, and face another tough test against top opposition when Manchester City travel to Selhurst Park on Saturday looking to pick up three crucial points of their own in the title chase.

For all their inconsistencies, Palace maintain spent eight consecutive weeks in 12th space and their fixture list does not acquire easier any time soon, with a midweek trip to in-form rivals Brighton before facing league leaders Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium next Sunday.

“I mediate if I’m sitting in front of you and telling you that I’m not concerned it will be a lie,” said Vieira.

“Of course we are concerned, of course we are aware of our position in the table. It’s indispensable for us to remain tranquil and hold working and hold improving. We maintain a tough week ahead of us and it will be indispensable for us to try to acquire points, but if we want points we maintain to play well.

“The table is what it is. We’re still five points clear, of course, but anything can happen, and we maintain to know that we are fraction of those nine, 10 teams who maintain to fight to stay in the Premier League.

“But we are in a better position than some of the teams. That will be enough? No. And this is why we maintain to prioritise our performances. How can we improve ourselves as a team to allow ourselves to win those games?”