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From The Boardroom - Stephen Browett

29 February 2016


Stephen Browett pens his latest exclusive website column ahead of the trip to Wearside.

On to our third away match in 10 days as the Palace faithful make the long trip north to Sunderland. The little gremlin in the Premier League"s computer really excelled itself giving us this fixture on a cold, dark Tuesday night in February! I hope that free coach travel for this marathon away trip is some small consolation for the hardy band of travellers who join us for this important game. 

After that fine win at in-form Spurs it was so disappointing to come away pointless from our game against West Brom. But, If we play like we did in the second half against The Baggies - and get some decisions going our way for a change - then we will finally end this bad run of league form. Although it was frustrating to lose at The Hawthorns, at least Connor Wickham found the net twice with two excellent goals. Sunderland was always going to be a huge game for Connor so that must have been a great confidence booster for him. I'm sure that he'd dearly love to score on his return to The Stadium of Light.

Our first ever victory away at Sunderland was in the FA Cup forty years ago. We were in the third division in the 75/76 season but reached the semi final. In the 6th round game at Roker Park we won courtesy of an Alan Whittle goal after a great run up the wing from our star player - the brilliant winger Peter Taylor.

However our greatest win at Sunderland - and indeed our only win there in the top flight - came last season when another wing wizard, Yannick Bolasie, scored a brilliant hat-trick in eleven minutes as we routed the Black Cats 4-1. What a fantastic game that was. 

We were all shocked on our way up to The Hawthorns to hear the tragic news that Palace's longest-serving Associate Director, Fergus McGovern, had passed away. Our thoughts are with his wife Deanna and children Abby, Ryan and Ella. He will be greatly missed in the Selhurst Park boardroom. 

Another Palace Associate Director, Eddie Izzard, is in South Africa now, aiming to run 27 marathons for Sport Relief - one for every year that Nelson Mandela spent in prison - it's an incredible challenge and we look forward to seeing Eddie running in his Palace shirt. 

See you on Wearside!

COYP

Steve

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