Christian Benteke has apologised to his teammates, after he forcefully took the ball for a penalty against Bournemouth, ignoring team instructions, and then missed.

The Belgian striker has struggled for form this season, having yet to get off the mark for the new campaign, and he acknowledges that he let his teammates down at Selhurst Park last weekend.

Luka Milivojević, who had already scored a penalty in the first half, was supposed to take the spot kick late into injury time, but Benteke would not give up the ball.

The Belgian’s miss cost Palace two vital points, and for that reason Benteke has apologised to his team and manager Roy Hodgson.

However, the former Aston Villa and Liverpool target man doesn’t feel sorry for himself, despite feeling that his performances have warranted goals. He said;

I spoke with the manager first to let him know what really happened, because I just wanted to clarify things with the TV and all of the media talking.

Then I spoke with the guys and I told them I don’t feel sorry for myself, but that I let the team down because we are obviously battling relegation and every point counts for us.

I said I will keep working hard for them and for myself. I just wanted to take my responsibility (with the penalty). I don’t feel sorry for myself – it happened.

There is no issue – it is football and it happens. We have to stick together no matter what. It is a tough time. As a striker you want to score, but I just work hard for the team and try to hold up the ball and play, and the goal will come.

I don’t ask a lot of questions of myself, I just accept it is a tough time and work hard and try to help the team. The goal will come.

Palace will travel to the King Power on Saturday to face a high flying Leicester with a makeshift side, courtesy of a number of defensive injuries, but Benteke insists his side will be buoyed with confidence after seeing improvements in recent weeks. He continued;

We are far away from being safe. It will be a battle until the end. Now we are six games unbeaten and we go to Leicester with confidence.

Watford was a team we felt we could beat and we did – now we can go to Leicester and try and get the three points.

I am determined. Last season I was playing not that good but scoring, this season I have played well but just can’t score. I am really motivated though, because it is a challenge.

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