Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has bemoaned the team's torrid start to the Premier League season, claiming that they shot themselves in the foot.
The Eagles lost their first seven league games this campaign without scoring a single goal. Four of the defeats were under former manager Frank de Boer, and Hodgson believes it has made his task that much more difficult.
However, Palace have shown positive signs of late, losing only twice in their last eight league games to climb from rock-bottom up to 18th.
A NEW SELHURST PARK.
WITH A NEW CRYSTAL PALACE.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) December 4, 2017
Hodgson told Sky Sports News: "If we'd have got the same number of points (10) from the first seven games, we'd have been middle of the table which at the moment would be an area we'd be more than comfortable to be in.
"But we are playing catch up. We have shot ourselves in the foot. When you take no points from seven games, you don't even score a goal and you've got a minus 15 goal difference, what you're saying is, we've cut our season down by a fifth and now you've got to work really hard in the other 80 per cent of the season left to get those points back somehow.
"I think we're clawing away, we're working very hard and I can't ask any more of what I'm getting from the players, they're giving their absolute all to try and get points wherever we can and if we can keep that up and guarantee me those performances for the next 23 games, I will be feeling quite confident."