Steve Parish has written his latest matchday programme notes ahead of the visit of Southampton. Read on for the latest update from the Chairman.
Welcome to the players, staff and directors of Southampton today, and to all Palace supporters. Every match in this league is difficult and I’m sure once more it will be small margins that decide the outcome.
Since my last notes, we suffered defeats to Liverpool and Watford which were hard to stomach, as the performances were of a high level and could easily have yielded points. It’s fair to say that luck was not on our side when it came to crucial refereeing decisions that had a profound impact in both games. I hope they balance out over the course of the season.
Those results make the cup win away at Swansea City even more pleasing, as Roy rotated his squad giving some much-needed minutes to those who have been on the periphery. Brighty and I made the long drive there along with 523 hardy Palace fans, and I would like to thank each and every one of them for making the seven-hour round trip; it was hugely appreciated by everyone especially the players and manager.
Those are the games that I really get the chance to enjoy, with there being slightly less pressure than in the league and a chance to see players that haven’t had as many minutes, or even play for their first full game. Everyone did well against a highly technical team who gave us a really good game. In the end it was probably experience that told, and a great first goal from Alexander got us into the next round which was clearly a great moment for him and I’m sure the first of many.
Our Ladies team have begun the season with a flourish by beating Tottenham Hotspur on penalties and then Super League side Yeovil Town in the Continental Tyres Cup - a remarkable achievement. The FA’s eventual offer of a place in the new Women’s Championship has been well publicised, and given the short turnaround between that decision and the season starting, Dean Davenport and his squad deserve huge credit for these results. I’d urge you all to get along to support our Ladies for their historic first game in the new division against Leicester City on Sunday 9th September at Bromley FC (kick off 2pm).
You may have seen that I’ve signed up for the Palace for Life Foundation’s upcoming ‘Marathon March’ on 13th October which is a 26.2 mile walk from Selhurst Park to central London, and it’s not too late to join us. I have seen first-hand the amazing work the Foundation does to inspire local young people to make genuine, long-lasting changes to their lives, so please support them however you can - even if it’s just sponsoring me!
We are just a matter of days away from Roy’s first anniversary in charge of the club. I must say he’s been a joy to deal with over that period, and I feel as though we are making huge progress on and off the pitch.
We are all hugely appreciative of the support our fans give us, especially in testing times. Roy, the players and I share the belief that you play a crucial role in helping us make Selhurst Park a fortress. With that in mind, I’d urge you to get behind him and the team today, as you always do.
Up The Palace.