Eagles defender Peter Ramage has revealed that the squad only found out about Dougie Freedman's departure two hours before kicking off against Barnsley on Tuesday night, yet managed to put it aside to continue their unbeaten run as they look to do the same against Leicester City tomorrow.
Despite the revelation just before the game, Palace went on to take the lead after only 10 minutes of the clash at Oakwell and put in a professional performance to earn a well-deserved point despite the circumstances.
“Lennie and Flem kept us informed when there was news, we knew obviously something was going on by looking at Sky Sports News and texts. To be fair, they always said they were going to keep us informed of when they first heard anything and I think it was just before half past five we found out that Dougie had officially gone from here.
“He had prepared us on Monday out on the training pitch and we went up there and did everything we normally do. Nothing changed or differed from any other away game this season, so we were obviously focused on Barnsley and put aside what was going on off the field.”
Freedman's departure would have been felt hard by the Geordie defender, who put pen to paper on a permanent deal in the summer having spent time on loan at Selhurst Park last season. Ramage admits that the Scot was a major reason in him committing to the club.
“To be honest he was probably the main reason I came back. There wasn’t a lot happening for me over the summer and he called me out of the blue to come down and train, be amongst the lads and get fit. I’ll always be grateful because he didn’t need to do that.”
Ramage has also paid tribute to the fans who made the long haul up to Yorkshire whilst digesting the news that a club legend had gone to pastures new, however put that behind them to support the Eagles and urge them on as they stretched their unbeaten run to nine games.
“It was a superb tribute to make that trip up there - it’s grim. It was heartening for us to see that they’d made the effort to come and support us and the club. It was a testing time with everything going on but we were professional in what we were doing and to repay their faith in coming all the way up there to support us.”
After a turbulent week, Ramage and co are just looking forward to putting everything behind them and get back out on the pitch at the King Power Stadium tomorrow, and despite the absence of a permanent manager will be hoping they can once again put in a fantastic effort against the odds.
“It’s going to be a tough game, incredibly tough. They’re a hard team to play against and they’ve got quality throughout their squad but so have we. It'll be two form teams so it’s hopefully going to be a very good football match and hopefully we can come out on top.”
To hear more from the interview with Ramage, head to Palace Player now.