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Chairman's Comments: Ipswich Town

22 August 2017

We bring you Steve Parish's programme notes from tonight's edition for the cup match against Ipswich Town.

Marcus Evans, their owner, is someone I’ve spent a lot of time speaking to over the years and Mick McCarthy is also a man who commands huge respect. Whatever happens tonight, we wish them well and very much hope both clubs are in the top-flight in 12 months’ time.

Tonight may just be what we need to kick-start our season. It’s a chance for Frank to possibly give some more players in the squad minutes. It’s also a chance for us to welcome new fans to the club. The fixture is one that we open up to non-members, so if you’re not a regular at Selhurst Park - welcome!

Our last decent run in the League Cup was 2011/12 when we lost agonisingly in the semis to Cardiff City on penalties, after beating Manchester United in the quarters. A cup run can give the whole club - and of course, the fans - a lift, and as always, we
want to go as far as possible.

It’s been a tough start for us so far. I think Huddersfield took us all by surprise, and credit must go to them. It’s important we all remain patient, and get behind Frank and the team. When you have a new manager, new players and are playing a different system, it’s bound to take time to click into place.

It is hugely disappointing that Wilf picked up an injury following one (of many) challenges against him in the Huddersfield game. He was the most fouled player in the Premier League last year by a massive margin, and it’s about time referees started giving him more protection.

We all want to see flair players like Wilf be given the chance to flourish, but persistent fouling seems to be something players repeatedly get away with. This injury is not only a massive loss to us, but also to the league itself. I wish him the speediest of
recoveries. Last week I had the privilege of going on BBC Radio 5’s Sportsweek. Garry Richardson is a classy man who’s devoted 40 years of his life to broadcasting, and gives a lot of time to Woking FC, his local side. He even had three of their supporters with him in the booth watching the show!

The budgets in that league are incredible; you can build a whole team with a Premier League clubs’ bill for a single agent ... food for thought!

Meanwhile fellow guest Henry Winter has been one of my favourite writers for many years, and continues to talk eloquently and knowledgably about all sports, so it was a great experience.

Tonight's match programme will be on sale around the stadium priced £2.50. 

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