Ahead of Crystal Palace's home match against Burnley, chairman Steve Parish has penned his notes for the programme, and in them discusses a range of things including the opposition, Palace shot-stopper Wayne Hennessey, the club's Boxpark takeover and more.
Welcome to the supporters, players, staff and directors of Burnley FC who have made the long journey south today, and to each and every Palace fan in south London this afternoon.
I’m sure I speak for everyone when saying I’m thankful November is done and dusted! The fixture list wasn’t exactly kind to us, but I think it’s fair to say that the quality of the performances against Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United were better than the two points we gained, especially at Old Trafford where I especially thought the players deserved more.
December sees a run of games that present different but no lesser challenges, starting today against a Sean Dyche side who achieved something extraordinary last season in qualifying for the UEFA Europa League. I’m sure they will also be disappointed with their league position, so I fully expect today’s match to be a hard-fought encounter.
I’m delighted for Wayne Hennessey, who won two fan votes this week after being named Man of the Match for his performance against United, and the ManBetX Player of the Month. Both are richly deserved; Wayne is a hugely popular member of the group and whilst it hasn’t always been plain sailing for him here, these awards show just how far he has come in the minds of our supporters. The competition provided by Julian and Vicente will no doubt have driven Wayne on, as well as the training and support from our goalkeeping coach Dean Kiely.
I enjoyed watching our Under-23s stun Charlton Athletic 4-0 on Monday, and we are on an impressive run of results in the academy. Credit must go to Gary Issott, Richard Shaw, Paddy McCarthy and all the staff for the winning culture they have created, and long may it continue. We will FINALLY be making an announcement very soon on the future of the academy.
Meanwhile, our Palace Boxpark Takeover on Tuesday night was another huge success. To see so many Palace fans come out to meet the players was fantastic, and it’s an event I’m so proud that we do.
Our Ladies team are finding life in the Women’s Championship tough - as we fully expected - but they are fighting for every point and hopefully will get a result against Aston Villa tomorrow. Everyone at Selhurst today can watch that game at Bromley FC for just £2.50 tomorrow, with under-16s going free. We had a record attendance of 975 for the Manchester United game, so it would be great to build on that.
It was very sad to hear of the passing of Darren Pitcher this week. He was someone I remember as a great player for the club, who was totally committed on the field and not shy of a hard tackle. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
I was delighted to hear the volume go up for the Spurs game. It felt much more like Palace and I am sure today we will go one step further and really make the place come alive again, as we aim to get that all-important home win.
Up The Palace!