Martina: Palace got the breaks

By SFC Media Mon 11 Jan Club

Cuco Martina felt that Crystal Palace had luck on their side in the Eagles’ 2-1 win over Saints on Saturday.

The narrow defeat saw Saints exit the Emirates FA Cup at the third-round stage, but it was a familiar tale for Ronald Koeman’s men after they dominated the game only to see their opponents take the chances that came their way.

Martina, whose shot led to Saints’ equaliser in the game, was confident that the team would go on and win the match, but was left bemoaning the slice of fortune that came Palace’s way midway through the second half when Wilfried Zaha finished from close range.

“I think they were more lucky,” Martina assessed. “We created a lot of chances and we don’t score. 

“They created not so much chances and from the three chances they score two. 

“But we created a lot and the second half we were 45 minutes in their half and we keep creating chances and we don’t score. 

“We created so many chances, but we’ve only scored one.”

The result meant that it is now only one win from the team’s last ten games in all competitions, but Martina believes that Saints are still doing the right things in matches.

“No, I’m not worried because we didn’t play bad,” he said. “We play first-half, the first 20 minutes we play good and second half we play very good – but in the end we were a little bit unlucky.

“We know we can play good and we need to stick to the game plan and if we stick to the game plan it will come good.

“We need to be sharper,” he added. “We created a lot and we don’t score. There’s a little bit of frustration.

“We won against Arsenal 4-0 and the confidence was high. 

“You see the next game, West Ham. It was great we score in the first half and then you see we are a great team. 

“But then again unlucky.”

Attention now turns to the visit of Watford in the Barclays Premier League on Wednesday evening, and Martina hopes that Saints’ fortunes will turn.

“We have two games at home and we need to focus now on Watford,” he said. “If we stick to our game plan, we can win – but we need to be sharper.

“The team spirit is great. In the dressing room it’s great. Everyone wants to fight for one another but, again, we need to be sharper.”

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