Firstly I’d like to welcome the directors, management, staff and players of Liverpool to Selhurst Park for this afternoon’s game.
It’s always special when Liverpool come to Selhurst, so let’s hope we can continue our great run of form against them today.
As some of you will be aware last week we very suddenly lost Fergus McGovern, and I had just pulled into the car park at West Brom when I received the terrible news. Fergus had been an Associate Director for 15 years and I had spent many hours with him in boardrooms at Selhurst and up and down the country.
It’s always devastating to lose someone but we also all knew his wife Deanne and their kids Abby, Ryan and Ella, as they are regulars at games too and were an incredibly close family. Our heartfelt condolences go out to them and hopefully the team can put in a special performance this afternoon and pick up a big win which Fergus would have thoroughly enjoyed.
It seems like ages since we played here in SE25 and our three games on the road since the Watford home match have been a mixed bag. It was of course wonderful to see us get past Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup, and despite our recent winless run in the league, that result was an indication that we are still very much capable of beating a side challenging for the Premier League title on their own patch.
That has set up a quarter-final tie against Reading next week which I’m very much looking forward to. Games like that are special occasions and hopefully next time you read my programme notes we’ll be looking forward to a semi-final at Wembley.
But the cup is something for next week, as our eyes have to firmly be on the Premier League this afternoon after sliding down the table in recent weeks. Twice over the past two games we have come close to ending the search for a victory, and with a little more luck against West Bromwich Albion we could have come away with a point or more.
The second half there gave me plenty of encouragement as I headed up to Sunderland on Tuesday alongside Josh Harris, and I thought we would be celebrating a win after Connor’s two fine goals. However, such is our luck at the moment, we were denied the three points in the final stages by an almost freak goal but once again we put in a decent performance which wasn’t backed up by the result.
We all need to remember that we have more points than we did at this stage last year and whilst things have been tough of late it’s now that we need to stick together and back the boys. A couple of good results will see us book our place in the Premier League next season for the fourth year in a row and that is a massive achievement for this club. That, along with the FA Cup run, gives me plenty of optimism that this can still be a fantastic campaign.