Neil Warnock intends to let his Crystal Palace players enjoy their Christmas party after seeing them out-play Tottenham and leave with a well-deserved draw.
The Eagles’ boss was left a little frustrated that his side could not take all three points having created the best chances against a flat Spurs outfit who have now failed to win five of their eight Premier League home games so far this season after this 0-0 stalemate.
Scott Dann and Yannick Bolasie both forced fantastic saves out of Hugo Lloris, with substitute Jason Puncheon hitting the crossbar and having an effort chalked off for offside as Palace looked for a first win at White Hart Lane since 1997.
The hosts were less creative in attack and barely tested Julian Speroni in the Palace goal with a Christian Eriksen free-kick, easily punched away by the Argentinian, arguably their best effort of an instantly forgettable afternoon.
Despite having beaten Liverpool in recent weeks, Warnock pointed to this display as the best since his return to Selhurst Park and revealed he will not be cancelling Christmas after a performance he felt warranted a win.
“We have improved, that is probably the most complete performance,” he said.
“Against Liverpool we scored the goals but today, I could tell in the dressing room that we were focused and knew what we were doing. We wanted to attack them, the game was there to be won today and we started on a positive note.
“There goalkeeper has made some fantastic saves, you have got to take your hat off. So it is frustrating but we have just got to believe in ourselves and the lads do. I can’t fault them today.
“It is a good dressing room – I also told them that if they didn’t get a result today they couldn’t go on their Christmas do, so that might have been why they gave everything I don’t really know!”
The 3-1 win over Liverpool remains Palace’s only win in their last eight games and they sit just one point clear of the bottom three in 15th place but Warnock is pleased with his squad.
“I think we have done well,” he added.
“We went to Swansea and upset them, we are quite capable. If we had taken our chances at Old Trafford we may have upset Manchester United as well.
“It is about trying to be the best with what we have got. They are a great group, the skipper (Mile Jedinak) is a leader and we don’t suffer fools gladly.”
Spurs are now four points off the top four and, although Mauricio Pochettino admitted his side were not at their best, he feels they are being hampered by a harsh fixture schedule.
“It wasn’t an easy game,” he conceded.
“We didn’t show the freshness we had against Everton. I’m not happy with our performance and I think the draw is fair.
“Maybe it is because we have played four games in nine days or three games in six days – maybe this was the problem.”
Pochettino pointed to the extra time between fixtures for their rivals in recent games but refused to hide behind the fixture pile-up.
“It is not easy when you play against Chelsea when they have one day more for recovery. Then today when we play Palace and we have two days for recovery and they have three days.
“It (need for recovery time) is a little advantage for the opponent – we had a lack of freshness. It is massive but it is not an excuse.
“One day more is massive for the players but this is a tough competition and we need to understand that sometimes the schedule is not good for us and in the future it might not be good for another team. This we accept but I’m still disappointed.”
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