Firstly I would like to welcome the directors, management, players and supporters of Middlesbrough to Selhurst Park this afternoon.
With both teams scrapping for points at the foot of the table it is obviously a very big game, especially for ourselves. It’s clear that we are in a difficult situation and one we are not looking to make any excuses for. Collectively we have not performed from the boardroom to the training ground, and we need to rectify it.
With a third of a season to go we must remember what got us here: togetherness, enjoying football as fans and owners and fighting to earn our place in the best league in the world. I understand people’s feelings because I share them; we have all got used to being in the Premier League and we know we have more than enough talent to stay here. It feels like someone is trying to take something that is ours and it is natural to look for someone to blame. Right now we need to park what’s gone before and get everyone pulling together.
As fans you quite possibly hold the key to our survival. We need to rebuild that belief system, get rid of the fear of losing something and enjoy the fight of doing what we’ve always done, which is to buck the odds and upset the pundits.
It’s not going to be easy; our home record since the start of last year has been well documented, and we need to ensure we make Selhurst Park an inspiring place for our players and an intimidating one for the opposition.
The players really need you to lift them, especially in the difficult moments, and equally we know that we have to create moments to lift the crowd. If we do that I am confident we can turn this around and retain our top-flight status for a fifth straight campaign.
The positivity you emit from the stands can only benefit the players, and an extra 10% boost from everybody could lead to a crucial goal going in this afternoon to give us a vital win, and the confidence gained from that could help spur us on over the next month and pull us away from the drop zone, especially with it currently being so congested at the wrong end of the table. Only by sticking together can we achieve our aim of staying in the Premier League, so please back the boys no matter what today as we strive for three valuable points.
At today’s game, we as a club are showing our support for the annual Football v Homophobia campaign, which aims to tackle prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in football, in an attempt to make it safe and welcoming for everyone.
We at Palace embrace diversity, and being more inclusive will lead to a wider, more varied membership and fanbase. This can only be good for the club and wider community, so please show your support by standing up to prejudice and discrimination against LGBT people everywhere.
Up The Palace!
Don't forget today's 88 page matchday programme will be available around the stadium today, priced just £3.50, or can be download to your iPad or Android device for just £1.49.