Iain Dowie pinned the blame squarely on his defence after a thumping 3-0 defeat at home to Watford in the first leg of the play-off semi-finals.
The defeat leaves Palace with a Everest-sized mountain to climb in the second leg against a Hornets side that always look capable of scoring.
A repeat of the 5-1 hammering Palace dished out to Watford at Vicarage Road two seasons ago would be just the ticket – but Dowie is under no illusions about the chances of that happening.
"If it was a poker hand we would not be putting too much money on it," he said.
"We now have a mountain to climb because we had a mad minute after half-time. We lost this game because we did not defend well enough.
"Watford's second goal from Ashley Young was a great free-kick, but after that we lost our team discipline.
"We have to go to Vicarage Road and win, but whether we can win by enough is another matter."