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Freedman: "More Than Three Points"

14 September 2012

Dougie Freedman has been telling his players that tonight's game against Charlton is about more than the three points as he hope to secure a derby-day victory.

The Eagles boss has experience of playing against Palace's south London neighbours and has been relaying that to his troops before they do battle against the Addicks at The Valley.

In his pre-match press conference, he said: “Football is a very passionate sport and there will be a very passionate crowd tomorrow, as there always is in local derbies. Having experienced these derbies as I have done, it's an enjoyable moment and a challenge. You have to go into it with a mindset that it's a game that you want to play in.

“The fans will see it as a game against their rivals and rightly so; it won't be just three points it'll be about bragging rights and who is better than who. My team are fully aware at what is at stake and that we have to go into the game with a controlled aggression and make sure that they're not intimidated in the first period of the game.”

After beating Sheffield Wednesday last time out, the international break could be seen as a hindrance for Palace after getting their first win under their belts, but the Scot insists that it has been a blessing by giving him extra time to work with new players and allowing international players a chance to develop themselves.

“We've had a lot of new players here so a lot of work has been done at the training ground in terms of how we set up, how we play and what we like to do, and that's been good, plus there's been a lot of individual work done over the last 10 days,” he added.

“The more international players we have at the club then the stronger the team will be, so they always have my blessing to go away and get experience. Jonny Williams has been away with the national squad and gained fantastic experience, it's not as if they're sitting on their sofas for 10 days, they're experiencing different teams and game situations and coming back better players.”

Freedman will face a former Eagle in Charlton boss Chris Powell tonight, someone he knows well from when the pair were studying to become coaches. Having seen his opposite number win the League One title last year, Dougie is full of praise for the job he has done at Charlton.

“I've got a lot of respect for Chris, we did our coaching badges together. It was a very good group we had at the time including di Matteo, Poyet, Zola, Solskjaer and Chris is right at the front of them.

“He's had promotion already and changed the club's fortunes around, so I've got a lot of time for Chris as a manager, but more importantly as a person. He's a warm and welcome guy and no doubt after the match we'll share a conversation together and pick each other's brains and I think that's the new generation of a manager.

“Their main threat is the momentum they've got right now from getting promotion and they carried that over to get a good start in the league this time round. They've got a crowd whose expectations are a little higher than the last four or five years so we've got to make sure we try and stop that momentum and quieten the crowd down.

“On the pitch they have one or two individual players but they play as a team and they're very strong at home, so we need to try and match them.”

now.Palace PlayerFor more from Dougie's press conference, see the extended version on 

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