Crystal Palace ultras pen open letter to players and manager
'Restore the pride, passion and ambition'
Crystal Palace's biggest fan group have published an open letter to the players and manager Roy Hodgson, calling on them to ditch negative tactics and show more passion on the field.
Palace have often looked sluggish this season, and while they started the season well with victories over Southampton and Manchester United, wins have since been hard to come by and recent form has exposed big problems within the playing squad.
Ahead of the club's most important game of the season - against rivals Brighton - the Holmesdale Fanatics felt compelled to issue a rallying cry in the hope of inspiring an improved performance in a must-not-lose game.
The group hung a banner outside the training ground that read: "Palace pandemic of apathy. Change this mentality. Restore the pride, ambition and vision."
The banner was accompanied by an open letter, published on Twitter, that criticised the club's "safety first" approach to games.
The statement read: "Losing games without a fight, flair players shackled in negative formations, a lack of leadership and pride on the pitch. This is not the Palace way.
"Our 'safety first' approach is being exposed and our spineless defensive tactics show no ambition or vision. Unused spaces on the subs bench instead of adding youth players to the first team bubble highlights the lack of inspiration.
"'Consolidating' just above the relegation zone with no plan for progress is not sustainable and breeds a negative atmosphere. This and the continued for cup competitions shows a lack of respect towards supporters.
"We must re-evaluate our long-term vision and use this opportunity with so many expiring contracts to make substantial changes across the club to rebuild with the spirit and mentality of the promotion squad."
— Holmesdale Fanatics (@ultrascpfc) February 16, 2021
"Committed winners fighting for the shirt, attacking football and youth put front and centre - at the very least given a genuine chance. A transfer policy based around young, Championship players and others desperate to make an impact, not overpaid 'marquee signings'."
"Restore the positive values and together we will push forward. Anyone not aligned with these should not be involved.
"The committed supporters deserve better. The club is sitting on huge potential but apathy is limiting ambition.
"Brighton next Monday will expose those who care and those who don't."