We bring you the latest views of Steve Parish from his 'Steve Says' column in the match programme for the game against Southampton.
Firstly I would like to welcome the players, staff and fans of Southampton, a club I’ve always admired as they have become the model for a stable, Premier League team.
It’s been a tough few weeks for the club and we’ve made the headlines for reasons we would not have wished, but you either give up or try harder, and I think we all know what you and I will opt for in south London!
I would of course like to give a huge welcome to Roy Hodgson. Roy was born in Croydon, so he knows the area and the club having been a trainee here in the 1960s, and he even stood on the Holmesdale terraces as a kid.
His managerial record speaks for itself, and his experience is unrivalled. His Premier League stints with Fulham and West Bromwich Albion in particular will be critical for us, as we have 34 games to make amends for our disappointing start.
I’m confident that with the new management team and Dougie as sporting director, we will turn the corner soon. Clearly we have a tough four game period on the horizon so we will need to be at our best in every aspect, not least your support. The game against Middlesbrough last season sits in my memory when you were like a 12th man for 90 minutes, and we’ll need that again over the coming weeks. When our backs are against the wall, we’re at our best.
Whilst we didn’t get a deserved victory at Burnley, it was encouraging to see Levi Lumeka make his debut. He’s been with us since he was 15-years-old and I know that all the staff at the academy are immensely proud to see him get a chance to show what he can do.
Today is also a special afternoon as Geoff Thomas returns to Selhurst after cycling more than 10,000km in aid of Cure Leukaemia. It’s such a massive achievement and one I am proud to have been associated with, both personally and as a club.
As Palace’s most successful captain ever - and more so for his commitment to beating cancer - the guy is an inspiration, and I’m sure he will be afforded an extra-warm reception when he appears on the pitch alongside his fellow cyclists at half-time.
There’s still time to donate; Geoff’s programme makes a real and tangible difference getting trial drugs into use years ahead of the normal timescales, saving lives along the way. This is an effort that is genuinely saving people’s lives today, with a real possibility of being able to effectively treat everyone who is unfortunate enough to contract leukaemia.