STRUGGLING Crystal Palace's fears of relegation grew after the 1-0 defeat against tenants Wimbledon at Selhurst Park on Saturday, making it their fifth league

defeat in row. writes Gordon Law.

This latest setback leaves the Eagles just four points above the drop-zone, but manager Alan Smith insists his side did not deserve to lose the match against Terry Burton's side.

Smith said: “How we have not got something out of this game is unbelievable and nobody can say this was a fair result.

“If we were getting mullered every week I would be worried, but we're not. We've lost five on the bounce but three of them have been one-nil and I'm confident that when we get some of our senior players back we won't have too much of a problem.

Even so, it was Wimbledon's Patrick Agyemang who stole the show with an outstanding performance, netting the only goal of the game after 22 minutes and he was perhaps unlucky, not to get another, but the linesman disallowed it.

Palace's Dougie Freedman had the

Eagles' best chance of the game when his header struck the post.

Smith added: “The statistics bear it out. We had twelve shots on target while they had three.”

Meanwhile, Neil Ruddock said he is prepared to sit out his contract and strive to win back his place in the side despite being told he can leave the club on a free transfer.

He said: “I don't want a move and I'm willing to sit out my contract if I have to. I'm working on the basis that if I keep training, the door will stay open for me to get back in.”

The Eagles face a tough match against champions-elect Fulham at Selhurst Park on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.