Firstly I’d like to welcome the directors, management, staff and players of Stoke City to Selhurst Park this afternoon for this FA Cup fourth round tie.
It’s a game I’ve been looking forward to since the draw was made because there’s a special type of atmosphere when there’s knockout football at Selhurst Park, especially in the FA Cup.
We’ve had some great memories in this competition over the years and I really hope that some more special moments are created in the coming months.
Alan and the squad are fully focused on trying to claim a piece of silverware in the coming years, and so we go into today’s game aiming to book our spot in the fifth round. We have good memories from playing Stoke last month, and hopefully we can achieve a similar result today.
This week saw our first major foray into the transfer market as we brought Emmanuel Adebayor into the club. It is yet another sign of how we’re developing as he is someone who has played for some of the best clubs in Europe – including possibly the biggest in the world in Real Madrid – and has a proven record for scoring goals in the Premier League during his time at Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur over the years.
We’re hoping Emmanuel’s experience and quality will help push the squad to a new level, and I believe it’ll only help the other attackers here as they can learn from someone who has played at the very highest level, and I know he will get a great reception from yourselves when he first takes to the pitch at Selhurst Park in red and blue.
At 31-years-old I believe there is still more for him to achieve in the game and I hope he has plenty of success in SE25, and it’ll be interesting to see how his first few weeks go.
There’s still a couple more days of the transfer window to go so we’ll have to wait and see if anyone else joins Emmanuel in the coming days. My phone has been red hot for weeks now as agents try to persuade me that their client is just what Crystal Palace are missing, so it’s a very difficult time of the year. But like the previous two windows that he’s overseen, Alan has been brilliant and we’ve stuck to our plans.
We’ve seen a couple of players leave so far, including Jack Hunt who joined Sheffield Wednesday. I felt really sorry for Jack as he picked up a nasty injury a week or so after signing for us and struggled to make an impact when he recovered, and hopefully he’ll get back into the Premier League one day as he’s a great lad and due a bit of luck.
Jonny Williams has also joined MK Dons on loan and that’s a good move for everyone as it gets Jonny regular football and a chance to stake his claim for a spot at Euro 2016 with Wales. I hope he enjoys the rest of the season at Stadium:MK and returns to us full of confidence at the end of the season.