Firstly I’d like to welcome the directors, management, players and supporters from Southampton to Selhurst this afternoon.
We’ll be getting used to each other’s company on a more regular basis with the FA Cup draw once again pitting us together like it did last season, so hopefully we’ll be able to replicate our 3-2 success at St Mary’s last season a couple of times over the next few weeks.
Alan and I have made no secret about our desire to do the best we can in cup competitions, and with that game coming after a tough run it will also allow us to utilise the full squad of players.
It was brilliant to see us rectify our home form against Newcastle a fortnight ago. Many records were broken that afternoon and it was a joy to watch all our attacking players enjoying themselves and getting among the goals and assists, and with a virtually fully-fit squad to pick from it sets us up nicely going into the busy festive period.
At the Everton game I had a drink with a couple of die-hard Everton fans that I’ve been chatting with over the past few years - Dave and Keith from the band The Farm - after we visited LIPA, a performing arts college, which was inspirational.
They were predicting a tough game which in itself is gratifying and we did indeed put in another good performance against a top side in great form. It was a fantastic game, a real Premier League tussle, and on another day we could have had a couple of penalties. The journey home wasn’t the best as I got in at close to 4am - hopefully those of you that made the trip too fared a bit better!
Today is a big day for the Holmesdale Fanatics who are celebrating a decade of being loud and being proud. They have been a huge part of this football club during that time and many of them were instrumental in protesting in the days leading up to our takeover in 2010, and helping Lloyds see that this club couldn’t be left to die.
They have helped Selhurst Park’s atmosphere become the envy of many in English football, and their efforts in sustaining the noise and colour is unrivalled in this country. On behalf of the management and players, I’d like to thank you for your support and hope it continues for another 10 years and more.
On the subject of our fans, I have to also thank everyone who bought half-season tickets to enjoy the sounds and sights of Selhurst during the final half of 2015/16. This has swelled our season ticket holders to over 17,500 which is a record-breaking total for us.
I hope there is plenty for you new regulars to cheer over the next six months, and with us sitting sixth in the table going into today’s game, it’s surely one of the best times to be a Palace fan.
Finally, these are my last notes before Christmas so I’d like to wish all our supporters across the world a very merry Christmas!