Stephen Browett brings us his latest views 'From The Boardroom' as he prepares for his latest trip to Leicester City.
It’s been 11 weeks since Norwich away in August’s Summer sunshine and now, in mid-Autumn, the Palace travelling faithful have only their second game of the season outside London. I have a feeling that this must be some kind of record, with our last 10 consecutive games all being played within the M25.
Over my 45 years as a Palace fan, Leicester has always been one of my favourite away trips. Despite it being a 100 mile journey, the non-stop trains from St Pancras only take an hour. The ground is walkable from the station and the city is blessed with some fine traditional pubs with the locals friendly in my experience. Whilst Watford is certainly the worst away trip for decent pre-match beer, Leicester is one of the best with a great choice of locally brewed ales. More importantly, Palace have a pretty decent record up there with many good results in recent years. They’ve only beaten us five times in our last 15 visits. It seems that many Palace fans share my liking for this away trip as our full allocation of 3100 tickets sold out in just four days when they went on sale last month.
The new stadium always has a good atmosphere and, unlike many, is situated in the city, very close to the old ground. As you walk from the station to the stadium you will see Filbert Street on your right and indeed all the other streets around it that are named after nuts – Brazil, Hazel, Walnut and Chestnut.
Leaving aside the permanent scar of Steve Claridge’s jammy winner off his shin at Wembley, I have some good memories of playing Leicester. One of the most exciting games was a 4-4 draw at Filbert Street on January 2nd 1988. A certain midfielder by the name of Pardew was making one of his first starts for us and George Wood was making his last. What sticks out in my mind was not just the 4-4 result. After 41 minutes Palace were 4-2 up (another two from Wrighty), but early in the second half George ran out of his box to clear a ball only for it to go straight to a Leicester player who lobbed him with an extraordinary shot from nearly 50 yards out. That game sadly saw the end of George’s career at Palace as Steve Coppell then replaced him by signing Perry Suckling from fellow Division Two side Manchester City. In more recent times, we’ve won on our last two visits to the King Power Stadium. Who can forget that brilliant victory (and fantastic support by the Palace fans) in October 2012 when our manager-less team won 2-1 thanks to goals from our two central defenders that day, Damo and Rambo?
positions in the table. We go into the game with a brilliant away record - having won six out of our last eight away games. It should be an entertaining match and, let’s hope, another great day on the road for the Red and Blue Army.th and 6thLeicester and Palace are probably the Premier League’s two surprise teams this season, occupying 5