Patrick Vieira reveals he is ‘CONCERNED’ with Crystal Palace’s winless run

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Pressure is mounting on Patrick Vieira amid Crystal Palace’s winless 2023 and the midfielder-turned-manager himself concedes he is concerned as Manchester City visit Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Vieira says his 12th-placed team are in the Premier League’s relegation race as they prepare to face City, Brighton and Arsenal in the next week.

There is no suggestion that Vieira will lose his job if they are beaten on Saturday – sources insist he retains support – but improvements are needed.

Vieira insists Palace’s players are up for the fight and that they can trouble Pep Guardiola’s City if they play with bravery.

‘If I am sitting in front of you and telling you that I am not concerned, it would be a lie,’ Vieira said of Palace’s run of results which has seen them record five draws and five defeats this year.

‘Of course we are concerned. Of course we are aware of our position. It is important for us to remain calm and keep working and keep improving.

‘Pressure? I have the pressure since the first time I signed at this football club. This is what the Premier League is about. Every single manager has pressure to perform, to play for European competition or to stay in the Premier League. I see myself as no different.

‘You don’t switch off. Especially when you are on this kind of run. You are involved in it. Your mind is into it. You go home and you think about if you missed something in training and what will be the message the next day in training. I knew how tough and challenging this job is going to be.

‘The table is what it is. We are five points clear (of the bottom three). Anything can happen. We have to know that we are part of those nine, 10 teams that have to fight to stay in the Premier League. But we are in a better position than some of the teams. That will be enough.’

The upcoming international break will be a prime time for concerned clubs to change managers, but Vieira, who exudes calmness, trusts his players will deliver in these three demanding fixtures.

‘Listen, something that I’m sure about the group of players I have is that there is no fear,’ Vieira said. ‘There is no fear at all. There is excitement to face one of the Premier League’s great teams.

‘It is a challenge. It will be a challenging week for us – City, Brighton, Arsenal – but it is a challenge we want to face and we have to prepare ourselves to be up for it.

‘There is a togetherness that I love and I still see it in the players. If we keep that kind of togetherness from the top to the bottom, we will come through those things. We went through kinds of situations last year.’

City gave Vieira his start in coaching as he led their Elite Development Squad before moving on to New York City, Nice and now Palace.

‘We have to be brave,’ Vieira said. ‘We have to play as best we can and give them problems. I strongly believe we can give them problems.’

‘If I sit in front and tell you I’m not concerned it would be a lie’, Vieira said. ‘We are concerned.

‘We are aware of our position in the table but it’s important to remain calm, keep working and improving.

‘If we want points we have to play well. We have to keep doing the right things but it’s important to understand what part of the game we need to improve to win. Not winning those games means we are missing something.’

Palace will host City before trips to rivals Brighton and league leaders Arsenal in a schedule that doesn’t appear to be getting easier any time soon.

Vieira acknowledged he is under pressure, but insisted he has been since the day he walked through the door.

‘Pressure? I had the pressure since the first time I came into the club’, he said.

‘This is what the Premier League is about. Every manager has pressure to perform, to play in European competition or stay in the Premier League. I see myself as no different from any manager.’

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