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REUTERS - Crystal Palace must turn their season around by beating Watford when they travel to Vicarage Road in the Premier League on Dec. 26 and lift the atmosphere of doom and gloom that has descended on the club, midfielder James McArthur has said.
Back-to-back home defeats by Manchester United and Chelsea have left Palace hovering just above the relegation zone on 15 points and increased the pressure on manager Alan Pardew.
They also have a trip to fourth-placed Arsenal on Jan. 1 after the Watford game.
"(Watford) is now a massive game for the club," McArthur told British media. "It's another chance to turn our season around.
"It's not nice being down there (in relegation zone), I'm not going to lie. Instead of doom and gloom, we need to look at it as an opportunity to turn the season around and there are a lot of games to go.
"But right now, we are in a relegation scrap and we're not hiding away from it."
A leaky defence that has conceded 32 goals has contributed to Palace's abysmal recent run of one win in 11 league games and Pardew conceded that things needed to get better soon.
"I think you have to be realistic and say that this year the results have not been good enough really, and we need to make sure they are better in the next year," the manager added.
"I'm hurting for Crystal Palace at the moment. It's a great club, I think it's got great owners and we just can't deliver on the results we would like at the moment."
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly