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Patrick Vieira urges Palace players not to let season peter out after cup exit

Chelsea v Crystal Palace – Emirates FA Cup – Semi Final – Wembley Stadium
(Image credit: John Walton)

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira insists he will not allow his side’s season to peter out following their FA Cup semi-final loss on Sunday.

The Eagles were beaten 2-0 by Chelsea in the last-four clash at Wembley but return to action with a Premier League trip to Newcastle on Wednesday night.

Vieira’s team have little to play for in the league as they have no chance of qualifying for Europe and will not get dragged into a relegation fight.

But the Frenchman believes questions will be asked if his players do not continue playing to a sufficient level.

“The future is about us, to finish well in the league,” he said. “How can we manage to keep improving as a team and to do well?”

“We want to concentrate on the Newcastle game. It is an important game for us that we want to do well and win. But we have to perform first.

“Then we will have time to think about next season. We want to finish the league as best as we can and that is our target and our focus.

He continued: “It is not going to be a challenge. It is where we learn about players and what they want to achieve and what we want to achieve as a football club.

“We have been doing well and I have never said anything about the concentration, the determination and the work ethic of the players. The period that we are in as a football club, I will learn a lot about the players.

“I am not going to tolerate a lack of concentration or hard work.

“It will be important for us to show the character we have. There is a massive disappointment after the result (at Wembley) but we don’t have time to feel sorry four ourselves. We have to find the strength and motivation to go again.

“If we don’t do that, there will be some questions. I expect an answer from the players and that is something that I will give a lot of focus on.

“As a football club, that is something that has to be consistent.

“We are pleased with what we have achieved but we still want to grow as a team and there is still a lot that I want from the players until the end of the season.”

Palace can welcome back Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher, who was ineligible on Sunday, but Luka Milivojevic is ruled out through injury.

“Just our captain Luka is not going to be part of the group,” Vieira said. “He felt something in his hamstring so he is not going to be part of the team.”

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