In what has been an emotional couple of days for Crystal Palace Football Club, Roy Hodgson paid tribute to the departing heroes of south London: Julian Speroni and Jason Puncheon.
With the pair of stalwarts having amassed a combined 20 years spent playing in red and blue, Hodgson was cautious to remark that he is not best placed to comment on their overall impact at the club but that he has found it a 'pleasure' to work with 'excellent professionals' over the last year and a half.
Asked as to just what it has been like to work with the pair of dedicated Palace heroes, Hodgson expressed his admiration, saying: "Lots of people are in a better position than me to assess their longer term value to the club. I’m aware of that and full of admiration for both for the service, the way they’ve behaved and the success they’ve helped bring to the club.
"I was unlucky to lose Jason Puncheon for six months at that time but I’ve got to say both have been absolutely excellent as professionals and human beings. It’s no surprise to me that they are so highly regarded, particularly by the fans. People that are prepared to shed blood almost for the jersey are worth their weight in gold.
"I’m really pleased that people are saying about them all the good things they should say about them. It’s been a real pleasure working with them.
"Both he [Speroni] and Jason will be presented to the crowd [post-match on Sunday] and I think you'll hear the roof come off when that happens."
There is a lengthy, in-depth interview with Speroni in the official Palace programme for Sunday alongside Wilfried Zaha, Ian Wright, Nya Kirby and Scott Guyett. You can pick up your special-print copy for just £3.50 from vendors around the outside of Selhurst Park!