Crystal Palace currently hover perilously over the Premier League relegation zone, after accumulating just 15 points from their first 16 league games. After the Eagles’ 1-1 home draw with Stoke City on Saturday, Neil Warnock stressed in his post-match interview – that his side needs strengthening in January.
With all the controversies surrounding Tony Pulis’ departure just two days before the start of the season, Palace’s pre-season optimism quickly turned into fear. The ex-Eagles boss, who had done so well in steering the south London club to an 11th place finish last season, was a hugely popular figure with the fans, and left a huge hole to fill. That led to Warnock taking over at Selhurst Park for the second time in his managerial career. After arriving with just a few days of the summer transfer window remaining, the Palace boss wasn’t able to strengthen as much as he would have liked.
Despite Warnock managing to bring in the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Kevin Doyle, Zeki Fryers, and breaking their transfer record with the £7m signing of James McArthur in August, the experienced boss went on record Saturday to reiterate that they really need to spend in January to avoid relegation.
The 66-year-old told Sky Sports News.”We’ve got to bring players in,” said Warnock. “Without knocking our players, they’ve got to be better than we’ve already got and it takes quite a lot of money to do that. “We’ve got some good players so it’s just trying to add two or three players to the squad that we’ve got to give us that bit more in depth.”
Warnock also expressed concerns with the strength of his squad players; “The substitutes’ bench hasn’t had a lot of players on it for me to change a game so that’s something for the second-half of the season, where we can look to influence the game by the substitutes.” To be fair to Warnock, most of the squad was inherited from Pulis – it’s hard for him to be fairly judged on his squads ability, until he has brought in his own players to Selhurst Park.
It hasn’t been all bad for Crystal Palace this term, and there have already been some memorable results. With caretaker manager Keith Millen in charge, it took a last-gasp Aaron Ramsey goal for Arsenal to eventually beat Palace 2-1 on opening day. Then Warnock’s side produced a good performance in his first game in charge – an enthralling 3-3 draw at Newcastle United. Then a superb 3-2 away win over Everton, was followed up with an equally impressive 3-1 home victory over Liverpool last month. The Eagles have proved that they are a match for anyone in the Premier League this season, and with some new faces they could go up a gear and surprise a few more teams along the way.
But it’s no secret that Palace are in desperate need for some new additions. Marouane Chamakh and Fraizer Campbell are not scoring enough goals up top, and their top scorer is currently Mile Jedinak, who has netted five goals – with three coming from the penalty spot. But if Warnock can get in the men he wants and they are able to hit the ground running, the Eagles will give themselves another real chance of survival.