Date: 22nd May 2017 at 2:42pm
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The curtain came down on a disappointing Crystal Palace season with a 2-0 defeat at Manchester United on Sunday – admittedly it (our season) could have been worse and looked as if it would for a while.

Allardyce, as he said he would when appointed in December, got Palace going a few months into his spell at Selhurst Park. Having assured Premier League safety in the penultimate game the Eagles eventually finished seven points clear of the bottom-three.

But, as it happens, Hull were thrashed by Tottenham anyway so wouldn’t have been able to overtake Palace, admittedly they might have fielded a different side and put up more of a fight otherwise.

The hope for Allardyce is the players at Selhurst – the ones he plans to keep – will return to pre-season and ‘do better’ and as for those the boss aims to sign he knows the right recruitment will be the ‘key element’ to success next season.

As about his future hopes, quoted by Sky Sports, Allardyce said: ‘For the players to do better next season that are already here when we come back in pre-season, and for those who we hope to bring in are better than those who could be leaving the club. That’s the key element, recruitment. The big reflection is that those wins over Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, that spell, that spell of games were massive in the run-in that we had, they played a major part in us staying in the Premier League.’

With Man United preparing for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Ajax, which could earn them a Champions League spot, Jose Mourinho fielded a young United side.

Among those involved were Josh Harrop, who opened the goalscoring, with the world’s most expensive footballer Paul Pogba sealing the win shortly after. Allardyce admitted Palace had a ‘better chance than normal’ of beating Man United but even the younger players at Old Trafford play for United for a reason.

He said: ‘We had a better chance than normal if you like, but young players play for Man Utd because they’re good enough for Man Utd. With all of that experience around them, and there was a huge amount, because they had that, they got coached brilliantly by them through the game and won it.’

On the game itself he added: ‘First half we weren’t at the level we normally are. Overall defensively apart from the two goals, Man Utd haven’t had a shot on target. Possession in the final third, lots of promise but no final product. In the end it’s a bit disappointing. Second half we tried to make a fightback but we were too far behind.’

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