Sako out for ‘at least a couple of weeks’

Date published: Friday 27th November 2015 4:34 - Mark Holmes

Keith Millen: Stood in for Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace press conference

Crystal Palace expect to be without Bakary Sako for “at least a couple of weeks” as they prepare to host Newcastle United at Selhurst Park.

Monday’s disappointing 1-0 home defeat by Sunderland left Palace with only one win from their last six and owed much to Palace’s lack of a threat in the final third.

Assistant manager Keith Millen, who stood in for Alan Pardew in front of the press on Friday, revealed that both Sako and Dwight Gayle will miss out against Newcastle because of injury.

Millen, however, believes Palace can benefit from Pardew’s in-depth knowledge of his former team.

“We have Alan here, Yohan (Cabaye) was obviously there as a player,” said Millen. “They all enjoyed it there, they were successful and enjoyed working with the players.

“(Goalkeeper) Andy Woodman left at the start of the season so we know a lot about their players.

“We have an insight into their individuals but we don’t know what team they will play.”

Palace’s wide players were guilty of getting into good positions and then over-hitting their crosses against Sunderland.

“We won’t prepare differently. We know our delivery was not up to scratch (against Sunderland),” said Millen.

“But we also look at the positives. We’ve looked at Newcastle over the last couple of days and focused on that.

“(Newcastle) have some good players, good attacking players. If you give them time and space they can hurt you. We expect a reaction from them after the disappointment of losing at home (to Leicester 0-3). They try and play football.

“We are disappointed for Monday and this is a chance to bounce back.”

Millen also explained that he considers Palace’s recent drop off in form is the result of teams viewing them as a threat when previously few expected them to survive relegation.

“We have been playing okay at Selhurst (Park),” he said. “But teams are making it hard for us. We know what threats we have. We keep in possession and are moving the ball better. We controlled the games in long periods.

“Sako is a disappointing one. He is out for at least a couple of weeks. (Marouane) Chamakh has been out for a long time so we are being really careful with that.

“We know we do not score enough goals. We have done a lot of work on that. Defensively we’ve been really good but if you want to win games you need to score more goals.”

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