Big Sam sees red as Delaney is confronted by angry fan
A week of soul-searching has begun at Crystal Palace, with manager and players in agreement that the Selhurst Park supporters were entitled to vent their fury following Saturday's 4-0 thrashing by Sunderland.
Sam Allardyce condemned the pitch invader who was arrested after confronting Damien Delaney as the centre-back left the pitch at half-time. However, the Palace boss said he understood the angry reaction of the supporters to a five-minute spell before the break in which the home side conceded three preventable goals.
"It's an emotional game and fans get very emotional when they see us turn out the sort of performance we did," said Allardyce, whose priority now is to improve the club's woeful home record of having taken seven points from a possible 36.
"We don't want them to react like that, but in many ways you can understand it. Fans will show their disapproval when they've paid their money - but not that way. The booing I expected, and rightly so. But they shouldn't be jumping over on to the pitch and confronting a player."
Lamine Koné put Sunderland ahead after 10 minutes and then Didier Ndong and Jermain Defoe capitalised on mistakes that Allardyce's players will view again through their fingers.
Palace substitute Joe Ledley, who had replaced the injured Yohan Cabaye, was caught in possession on the edge of the area by N'Dong, who made it 2-0.
Adnan Januzaj was then gifted an abundance of time and space on the left to play in Defoe and the two combined again for Sunderland's second goal of first-half stoppage time, in a moment of promising quality.
Palace's supporters, usually so positive, responded by chanting "You're not fit to wear the shirt."
© Daily Telegraph, London.