Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew had to call a special meeting to tell his players that they had not won in 13 Premier League matches.
It seems the footballers’ mantra of ‘one game at a time’ may have left them in the dark about a rotten run of results that had seen them drop to within seven points of relegation.
As bizarre as it sounds, it seems that Palace’s players had simply not noticed that they were in terrible form.
On Saturday they drew 2-2 with West Ham to stretch that sequence to 14 winless games in the top flight.
They had a meeting on Friday night at which Pardew outlined the seriousness of Palace’s situation.
“That was a normal, tactical meeting but probably a little bit longer than most,” said Pardew. “I just wanted to question the players and ask whether they actually realise what has gone on. Did they know the figures that the press have been using about us because you’d be surprised.
“The players don’t always take on board what has been going on. They go into training and their view is that: ‘Oh, it’s the next game.’ Of course, as managers we are overloaded with stats and information. So I just wanted to remind them of where we were and I think I got a good response.”
Asked if they players had been aware of the stark figures, he said: “They certainly knew after. I made it very clear about my feelings. That is all you are going to get.”