Alan Pardew admitted his decision to start Connor Wickham on the left wing did not pay off in Crystal Palace’s 2-1 defeat to Watford on Saturday.
Wickham returned from a three-match suspension to replace Chung-yong Lee out wide as Emmanuel Adebayor was handed the central striker’s role.
Adebayor responded with a goal, the first from a Palace striker in open play in the Premier League this season, but Wickham rarely looked comfortable on the left and was replaced by Lee at half-time.
“It just didn’t work for us,” Pardew said. “We’re trying to find a balance with Connor in the team, and we thought that might work, with that balance, but it didn’t.
“Sometimes you’ve got to say ‘It didn’t work’. We need to have a little bit more work on our team to make sure the balance, getting that mixture right of being quite direct, positive – we’re a big side – but we can’t rely on set plays, we have to play, and that was the problem in the first half, we were going for percentage balls rather than risky balls.
“In the second half we played a lot more risky football and were better for it.
“The only good news really, coming out of (the Watford defeat) from me is that (Yannick) Bolasie looks like he’s working well and should be involved next week (in the FA Cup at Tottenham), and so should (Bakary) Sako.
“Without saying they’re important to us, they’ll be major factors in helping us turn this around, because the pressure’s on us.”