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The Opposition View - Crystal Palace

The Opposition View - Crystal Palace
With many thanks to Vital Palace Editor Eddy Eagle, we ask a few questions about his club and Saturday's game......

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1) What are your hopes and expectations for the season?

The more I seem to say I'll be delighted with the progress that a midtable finish would mean, the more we seem to win matches and shoot a little higher up the league. Obviously given then past few seasons we've had simply not being in a relegation battle would be a plus and a foundation of improvement to work from, but with how we are playing at the moment whilst a genuine promotion push I still think is a step too far, being in and around the play off line doesn't seem to be that much of a stretch currently.

Still I'll be happy with around 12th :-)

2) What are your strengths and weaknesses as a team?

Weaknesses in some ways is our inability to break teams down, if Plan A doesn't work and Plan B with a change in personnel doesn't work, it's like we get stuck. We keep huffing away but you don't 'feel' like we'll get the breakthrough, whereas when it works you do feel we could score everytime we make an opening. That's something that will hopefully come as the team gel more and our younger lads gain that extra experience.

I do worry a little about depth when injuries or suspensions hit, especially as the youngsters get tired hitting the final third of the season - but that's a worry for every team I think.

Strengths, we are fighting for each other and maintaining our discipline this season. Confidence is high throughout the camp and that lift on it's own is doing wonders for us during games.

I know there have been a fair few personnel changes over the summer, and the introduction of a few more young lads, but something just seems to be clicking more often than not this season, especially away from home.

3) Who are the player/s to look out for?

Murray is settling in well, Zaha and Scannell you'll know about from their performances this season already. It's hard to pick in reality, because whilst certain players are taking more plaudits than others, with how we've tightened up at the back, the risk for you in the game could come from anybody forward in my mind.

4) How is the popularity with your manager at the moment?

Higher than ever, and that takes some doing given Dougie hasn't been able 'to do wrong' since taking over. Such is the respect we have for the man, he can't put a foot wrong, irrespective of what happens on the pitch.

The fact we've hit this season running, good performances, good results, tasty league position, his stock just keeps going up really.

They'll be a sticky patch, but I doubt it'll change his popularity amongst the fans. He could've took us down last season, and I still don't believe the fans would've blamed him in the main.

5) What do you put your good league position down to?

As said, we are just clicking more often than not now. Good preparation before a game, we are sticking to the plan as best we can and playing our own game instead of simply hoping we get a point this time round. Everybody is onside, and giving their all. Confidence is probably the key quality.

6) What's your prediction for the game?

I'm not sure why but I'm expecting a good one, I think 3-2 to us - but it'll be tight.

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Writer:Josh
Date:Thursday October 27 2011
Time: 4:28PM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Brighton 44 28 8 8 92 35
P Newcastle 44 27 7 10 88 40
3 Reading 44 24 7 13 79 1
4 Sheff Wed 44 23 9 12 78 15
5 Huddersfield 43 24 6 13 78 2
6 Fulham 44 21 13 10 76 27
7 Leeds Utd 44 22 7 15 73 14
8 Norwich 44 19 9 16 66 12
9 Brentford 44 18 9 17 63 12
10 Derby County 44 17 12 15 63 2
11 Preston 44 16 13 15 61 2
12 Aston Villa 44 16 13 15 61 0
13 Cardiff 44 16 11 17 59 -2
14 Barnsley 44 15 12 17 57 0
15 Wolves 43 15 10 18 55 -2
16 Ipswich 44 13 16 15 55 -6
17 Bristol City 44 14 9 21 51 -6
18 Burton 44 13 12 19 51 -12
19 Q.P.R. 44 14 8 22 50 -12
20 Forest 44 13 9 22 48 -11
21 Birmingham 44 11 14 19 47 -22
22 Blackburn 44 10 15 19 45 -15
23 Wigan 44 10 11 23 41 -16
R Rotherham 44 5 6 33 21 -58
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