Peter Ramage has hailed Crystal Palace goal hero Kevin Phillips as “the best”.
The 39-year-old struck the winning penalty in extra time as the Eagles beat Watford 1-0 in Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley, to claim a place in the Premier League.
It was a goal that sparked memorable celebrations on the pitch, in the stands and in the Crystal Palace dugout, where unused substitute Ramage watched the game.
But the former Newcastle defender told Palace Player that he couldn’t bring himself to watch Phillips’ decisive spot kick.
Ramage said: “I couldn’t watch Kev’s penalty! Honestly, I turned around in Jonny Williams’ lap! I couldn’t watch it. But that’s why he’s the best isn’t it? The confidence that the guy’s got – he’s been here, he’s been there, he’s been everywhere really.
“I don’t know why I didn’t look to be honest, I should have known better! It’s players like him that are why this club is such a great club.”
Ramage, who has signed a new two-year deal at Selhurst Park, also reserved special praise for Wilfried Zaha, who picked up the man of the match award at Wembley for his all-action display.
It was the young winger’s pace and trickery that earned the Palace penalty, after he was brought down in the box by Marco Cassetti.
Ramage said of the outgoing Manchester United man: “He’s a credit. It’s a pleasure to work with him. There’s a lot said about him, there’s a lot going on around him at the minute, but the way he’s conducted himself in and around the training ground, he’s been an absolute credit to his family, his friends and everybody.
“It’s fitting that he’s got to the Premier League the way he has and he’s going to experience bigger and better times than this.”
And Ramage is also hoping for better times himself, after returning to the Premier League.
He added: “It feels pretty good. It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but it’s just an unbelievable feeling. It’s been a great day, a great season.
“I think we were relegation candidates at the start of the season, but we’ve turned it around and we’re now in the Premier League.”
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