Firstly I’d like to welcome all the directors, management, players and fans from Shrewsbury Town for this Capital One Cup tie at Selhurst Park.
It’s always nice to pit ourselves against different opposition as the two sides haven’t faced each other since 1989, although that might be a good thing for us because Shrewsbury have proven to be a bit of a bogey side for us throughout our history! They actually have the better head-to-head record between us and have inflicted some painful defeats on us down the years.
Hopefully that curse won’t strike again tonight as we’re hopeful that the club can enjoy long cup runs in both competitions as we aim to put a piece of silverware in our trophy cabinet in the coming seasons.
Our first crack at that comes in the Capital One Cup. This is a competition we haven’t fared too well in over recent years since reaching the semi-finals in 2012 and getting knocked out on penalties at Cardiff.
In the three seasons since we have failed to progress past the third round but with more of an emphasis put on the cups now we feel established in the Premier League, with some good performances and some luck in the draws there’s no reason why we can’t get to the latter stages again.
It would be fantastic to reach a final again and create some history. I can remember the early 90s when we played at Wembley three times in two years in cup finals and they were great occasions. Yes we’ve played there since in play-off finals but nothing beats getting to the final of a knockout competition and enjoying a special day that will be remembered for years.
We’ve seen Swansea City and Birmingham City win this competition in the last few years, with Cardiff City and Bradford City making the final too so there’s no reason why we can’t enjoy some success. Hopefully we’ll be looking back on this night in years to come as the first step on a glorious run.
Today also marks one week until the transfer window closes at 6pm on the 1st September. We have done some great business so far in this window and invested heavily in the playing squad, but as you know it’s in the final week or so when business really starts to pick up.
We’re constantly on the lookout for new ways to improve the team so there might be one or two players who come into our thoughts depending on business elsewhere, and there may be some who move on as we aim to pull together the strongest 25-man squad that we possibly can.
There will be plenty of rumours and speculation doing the rounds but the only place to hear the official news and announcements will, as always, be on our website, video and social media channels, and I’m positive that when the window slams shut that both you and I will look back on the summer’s business with great pride.