It was disappointing to miss the Southampton and Stoke games as I rolled my ankle in training which was unfortunate timing. Thankfully it’s not too serious and I was back in training ahead of the Bournemouth game and feeling good so hopefully I’ll be in contention for the matches over the Christmas period.
We managed to get back-to-back wins before Bournemouth by beating Stoke City and firstly Southampton. We knew that they were a team that had stalled recently but we hadn’t had a lot of success against them in the Premier League so it was nice to get that result. It was a hard-fought win and what makes it even better is that they’re a team we’d expect to be around us in the table at the end of the season, so to put a little bit of distance between us is fantastic.
We then took the momentum from that win and headed to Stoke where we got another great victory. When you’ve got momentum from positive results you become so difficult to beat, even in games where you’ve not played the best. That shows great character, togetherness and fighting spirit which are traits that you all know we don’t lack. They’re things that have prospered under the current management but they’ve been evident for a little while longer than that too, so it’s great to see them still shining through.
I was thrilled to see Connor Wickham get his first Palace goal in that game. He’s a guy who’s had a stop-start season but he’s someone we’ve all got a lot of time for. He works his socks off in training and the biggest thing for a striker is getting off the mark, and as our focal point it was nice to see him get on the scoresheet.
We were also delighted to see Chungy hit the winner. He hasn’t featured an awful lot but if there is anyone in our team who could hit a ball like that, it’s him. He’s a master technician and he looks so smooth on the ball and when he hits it so sweetly it just takes off. He’s made a massive impression on everyone here.
This is our final game of 2015 and we’ve had some brilliant achievements to celebrate this year and that’s something that everyone at the game today should be very proud of. Everyone involved with the club has played their part and that has to be recognised, and if the players can keep maintaining their performances and you fans continue to keep following us, then the sky is the limit.
It’s also fantastic news about the new investment coming into the club, and again it’s nice that it’s come at the end of such a fantastic year. Although we as players have just continued doing our job throughout it all, for me it goes to show how big the club is becoming and what kind of a brand and football club Crystal Palace is now, so it was very nice to see.
2016 looks to be an exciting year, so I’d like to wish you all a very Happy New Year and hopefully it’s filled with plenty of success!