REUTERS - Crystal Palace are conceding too many goals in the Premier League and must tighten up the defensive side of their game, manager Alan Pardew said on Tuesday.
Despite scoring an impressive 27 goals in 15 league matches, Palace's efforts have been undermined by a leaky rearguard which has kept only one clean sheet and conceded 29 goals.
"Ten goals in three games but we need to tighten up, Southampton (a 3-0 win on Dec. 3) was the benchmark," Pardew told reporters.
"Defending is a team duty. Everyone has a responsibility to defend, even the substitutes. That's something we want to improve on. Sometimes our substitutes haven't shored us up as well as they should have.
"We were pleased with how we defended set-pieces at the weekend, that's one little box ticked. Now we need to get back to Southampton."
A run of one win in nine league games has left Palace 15th in the table, three points above the relegation zone going into the home game against Manchester United on Wednesday.
Palace will be without midfielder Jason Puncheon, who is serving a one-game suspension, against sixth-placed United.
Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond