I’d firstly like to welcome the directors, management, players and fans from Manchester United for this afternoon’s game here in SE25.
We haven’t had too much luck against the Red Devils during our time in the Premier League, but hopefully that will change today, especially on the back of two league defeats and our Capital One Cup exit to their neighbours City on Wednesday.
On paper it looks as though things have been going wrong, but I feel with a little more luck we could be sitting here with at least four more points than we have at the moment. The refereeing call involving Dwight Gayle’s red card against West Ham could have gone either way, and had we got into the changing room with our full quota at the break then the second half would have been a different story.
Then had we enjoyed a better bounce of the ball against Leicester City we would have prevented Jamie Vardy from scoring the only goal, plus there were a couple of penalty shouts that could have also gone our way.
The harsh reality though is that those two results took the wind garnered from our early season form out of our sails, and perhaps that showed against Manchester City in midweek, but we aren’t the first team to suffer that kind of defeat to them this season, and I doubt that we’ll be the last – they’re a class outfit.
It’s a shame to exit at the fourth round stage, especially with Chelsea, Arsenal and today’s opponents all being knocked out in midweek too, but now we’ll have to solely focus on our league form until January before we get a chance to put things right in the FA Cup.
Therefore it is imperative that we get back to winning ways as soon as possible, and wouldn’t it be typical Palace to bounce back today by clinching our first ever Premier League win against one of the biggest sides in the world?
I feel that sometimes we’re at our best when our backs are against the wall, and I know the players will be itching to set the record straight. However, you’ll also need to play your part in helping us turn things around.
When I look back at the famous wins in recent years against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City, the support from the stands has been electric. The noise you can produce has been a key factor in getting the boys over the line and if you can give an extra 10% today it could go a long way.
Your support is amazing, and I have to thank those of you who travelled up to Manchester to support the boys. I know some of you had some trouble getting up there and arrived after kick-off, but you stuck with the team throughout and I’m sure they’ll be wanting to repay your faith in the coming weeks.
After such a great start the last few weeks have been tough, but we’re still in a fantastic position in the league and we need to focus on the positives. Form is temporary, and hopefully that will be proven today.