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Patrick Vieira pleased with Palace progress despite lack of victories

Crystal Palace v Brighton and Hove Albion – Premier League – Selhurst Park
(Image credit: John Walton)

Patrick Vieira is eager to address Crystal Palace’s lack of wins but is pleased with the progress his squad have made since his summer arrival.

The Eagles were held to a 1-1 draw by Newcastle on Saturday when they should have secured a second Premier League victory of the season. Christian Benteke hit both the post and crossbar, missed a one-on-one and also saw a late headed effort ruled out for a foul after he had opened the scoring.

It meant Callum Wilson’s wonder goal – an overhead kick – rescued a point for the visitors at Selhurst Park, but it was yet another fixture where Palace walked off at full-time feeling hard done by. It was also the story of recent games with Arsenal and Brighton, where the south Londoners conceded stoppage-time equalisers.

“There are always two ways of seeing a result like this and the way we played,” Vieira admitted after a sixth draw in nine league matches.

“I am really pleased with the progress we made from the first game against Chelsea to where we are. I think there is a really good understanding from the players about what we try to do and how we want to do it.

“I see players on the field with a really good clear idea of what I expect and what I want from them, so that is really quite positive, but in the other side I want to win football matches.

“They want to win football matches and I believe the process we are putting in place is the right one, but we have to keep working.

“We have to keep working on how we can be more clinical in both boxes when we are defending and when we have a chance to score the goals. We have to improve that part of the game to have more chance of winning.”

Palace’s only success in the division so far remains the 3-0 triumph over Tottenham in September and they head to champions Manchester City on Saturday.

If selected again it could be a special fixture for Eagles attacker Michael Olise, who spent time in the Citizens academy before he was released.

Teenager Olise would eventually find a home at Reading, where his potential shone through and resulted in Palace spending £8million to secure his services during pre-season.

Vieira handed the 19-year-old his full debut against Newcastle and knows there is more to come from the youngster, adding: “He at times was isolated and when he got the ball at his feet he was against two or three players, so it was quite difficult for him to find the space and express his talent.

“But for the first start I was really pleased with his work ethic and he delivered really good crosses for Christian. I was happy for him to start the game and he did what I was expecting. He showed his talent but there is still more to come from him.”

Newcastle played their first match since Steve Bruce was sacked on Wednesday following a poor start to the season.

While the Magpies remain without a league win after nine games, Wilson’s sensational overhead kick saw them earn a point in the capital, which was their first since Amanda Staveley’s Saudi-backed consortium completed its takeover of the north-east club.

“After the week we had it was important to get a positive result,” Wilson said during his broadcast interviews.

“It’s a point on the board and something to build on. It’s baby steps – we’re going in the right way.

“You have to stay professional. We’re professional athletes at the end of the day. Whether the change is positive or not, you have to get on with it and try and get a result.

“I was waiting for one opportunity in the game. Sometimes they come so high so it was an instinctive finish. I was glad it found the back of the net.”

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