Given our frenetic end to the transfer window, it was perhaps too much of a stretch to expect a coherent performance today.
Nonetheless, we certainly started the better of the two sides, playing on the front foot and asking questions of a Palace side that looked uncharacteristically ragged.
Neto was our biggest attacking threat, delivering the sort of swashbuckling performance that was routine prior to his injury woes.
Sadly, the same could not be said of the rest of our attacking contingent, with Cunha and Sarabia both anonymous for large parts of the game.
Silva, on the other hand, showed plenty of willing but continues to offer no end product, a shortcoming that ultimately proved to be our undoing in this fixture.
Though Palace were unquestionably the better team in the second half, the gulf in class was marginal on the whole, leaving us to once again bemoan our lack of potency in the final third.
Gary O’Neil is in plenty of credit for his early conduct in trying circumstances, but should be questioned all the same for the timing of his substitutions.
Although Hwang came on and scored, the game was crying out for Kalajdzic long before he emerged, with his absence allowing the home side to wrestle control of a fixture that otherwise could have gone either way.
Regardless of our tactical manoeuvring (or lack thereof), the defensive efforts of our backline left a lot to be desired, with all of Palace’s goals being arguably preventable.
On today’s evidence, Santiago Bueno will certainly fancy his chances of ousting a below-par Dawson from the starting eleven, and the same can be said of Doherty, who continues to miss out at the expense of the endlessly hapless Semedo.
While things can never be doom and gloom at this early stage, an inability to score goals or keep them out is certainly cause for concern.
One can only hope that the international break has come at a good time, and that the new signings will provide some much needed impetus in a fortnight’s time.