Firstly I’d like to welcome the directors, management, staff and players of Watford to Selhurst Park for this afternoon’s game.
It was encouraging to see the boys get a well-deserved point against Swansea City last weekend after a run of five league defeats in a row, and I felt there were plenty of positives to take from that rather wet afternoon in south Wales.
Emmanuel Adebayor got another valuable 84 minutes under his belt and looked sharp and it was also great to see Scott Dann get on the scoresheet yet again, but it was also heartening to see Hiram Boateng make his Premier League debut as he is someone who has been with us since the age of eight.
We’ve been unfortunate with injuries in recent weeks, and I’d like to wish James McArthur and Jason Puncheon well with their recoveries, but there are now more opportunities for others to impress, and Hiram has the chance he’s waited so patiently for.
Brighty has been keeping me informed about his progress at Plymouth Argyle earlier this season, and his and Sullay Kaikai’s spots on the bench prove that our new strategy of sending players out on loan is working as Alan must feel that their time in the Football League has battle-hardened them for life in the top-flight if they’re needed.
It’ll be interesting to see how those two or others from the development squad get on over the coming months if they’re needed in the first-team. I’ve mentioned many times before about what we’ve done to help develop young players in our academy and Hiram’s appearance last week will hopefully give the other youngsters some extra motivation while we continue to look at ways to make this a regular occurrence.
Ticket prices have been a hot topic in the media over the past few days, but as a club we’re pleased that the feedback towards our own season ticket prices has been generally positive on social media, messageboards and those fans I have spoken to over the past month or so.
By freezing all general admission prices again for next season, we feel we’re offering excellent value for money to watch Premier League football at Selhurst Park, and so I’d like to take this opportunity to urge you to take advantage of the best possible prices by snapping up our early bird offer. If you renew your season ticket before the end of the month then you can save up to 10% on our standard prices, so if you can do that don’t delay!
Today sees Watford return to SE25 for the first time since the opening day of the 2012/13 season which ended with us facing each other at Wembley nine months later. We have both achieved so much in that time but hopefully it’ll be us celebrating again come 5pm today.
Keep backing the lads out there this afternoon and hopefully they can claim the victory we’re all craving as we aim to once again climb the Premier League table.
Up The Palace!