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Speroni: Hillsborough Draw Was "So Important"

3 December 2015

Palace's 2-2 draw away to Sheffield Wednesday in May 2010 was voted as the club's Moment of the Decade by fans this week, after a selection of ten highlights were presented on

After administration saw the club deducted 10 points, the Eagles found themselves clinging on to their place in the Championship, and went into the game at Hillsborough against a team also desperately trying to avoid the drop.

“There were a lot of different feelings and obviously the situation wasn’t great for us," said Julian Speroni, who was in goal for Palace that day. "We were in administration, we’d had 10 points deducted earlier in the season, and we’d got to the game knowing we had to get a least a draw to stay up.

“It was such an important match for the whole club, not just for the players but for people working for the club. I remember how tense the whole situation was coming into the match. In the end we managed to get the result we needed and the spirit of our group was incredible with everybody pulling together and fighting for each other."

Palace had taken the lead through Alan Lee's header in the first half, before surrendering their advantage to the Owls. Darren Ambrose popped up in the second period to grab a second in front of the raucous visiting fans, before a late, late equaliser from Darren Purse made for a nervy finish to the game.

“When the final whistle went I just felt relief," said Speroni. "We could enjoy the game afterwards, but before and during the match it wasn’t the kind of game that you enjoy. It’s the kind which you go into knowing you have to do a job.  

“Getting the result brought us closer as a team but to the fans as well. I remember after the final whistle we were all desperate to celebrate with them but I couldn’t even get close because I was at the other end of the pitch.

“After the game there was a pitch invasion and the police were pushing all the players into the changing rooms. If I could change one thing that day I wish we could have celebrated with our fans.”

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