Having experienced the rigours of a hectic Christmas schedule for much of his career, Damien Delaney says facing Bournemouth away on Boxing Day feels fairly local in comparison to the travelling he did when playing for teams in the lower leagues.
“It’s quite nice we don’t have to travel so far because the Saturday and Monday games can be a bit difficult, but when you’ve spent four or five years in League Two I can assure you it can be a lot worse!”
Looking ahead to Saturday, Delaney says Palace are well aware of the threat Bournemouth possess but can’t wait for what he describes will be a ‘titanic’ encounter.
“We’ve had a couple of team meetings on Bournemouth and looked at what their strengths are and what they'll be looking to do, and we've discussed what we’ve got to do to limit their effectiveness. They’re a very good side and have a really good team spirit which has been shown in the results they’ve got in the last few games.”
The Eagles’ own form has shown signs of consistency, and being able to grind out results is something the centre-back says is key to maintaining the team’s push for a top six position.
“Our last three games have been pretty tight and we haven’t really been at the top of our game. But we’ve shown resilience and been able to come out on top when things are tight, and Saturday’s game is going to be no different in terms of two sides looking to get a win.”
Bournemouth’s manager Eddie Howe recently admitted his club hope to emulate Palace’s upward trajectory in becoming an established Premier League side, and Delaney had a few words of advice for players adjusting to the ups and downs of an unpredictable league.
“Having a short-term memory is no bad thing. You’re going to have some days where things don’t quite go your way and you might take a thrashing, but when you do have a poor result you have to forget about it as quickly as possible because it’s going to happen in this league. If you dwell on it or overanalyse it, it will drag into the following week and you don’t want to be taking that negativity into the next game.”