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VitalWatford focus on - Crystal Palace

If Aidy Boothroyd needed an immediate blueprint on how to get the best out of a bunch of promising youngsters then an opening day trip to Selhurst Park could be the perfect learning curve.

Neil Warnock worked wonders at the Palace and almost 'won something with kids` last season to make Alan Hanson choke on his cornflakes - just missing out on a trip to the promised land after defeat in the play-offs.

The teenage kicks that saw some exciting, fast paced football light up the Championship have mostly been retained by the Eagles. 16-year old John Bostock may have left to be a bit part in Juande Ramos`s revolution at Spurs but the likes of Sean Scannell, Lee Hills and the frightening pace in the young legs of Victor Moses will be an even bigger danger to Championship defences this time around.

Yet Warnock knows experience matters and and has moved fast to add some Championship campaigners to his older pros of Carl Fletcher and Shaun Derry. Journeyman centre back Patrick McCarthy has arrived from Charlton, Portgueser Jose Fonte was convinced to join full time from Benfica and Aussie Nick Carle signing on the dreaded dotted from Bristol City.

And that`s before we mention the purchase of former Stern Graz and Austria Vienna man Johannes Frtl or the capture of Southend keeper Daryl Flahaven (who finally decided the time was right to up`Root` from the Shrimpers).

It`s been a busy summer at Selhurst Park, not least in the striking department with Dougie Freedman released (after a turgid testimonial 0-0 v Fulham) and last season`s leading goal getter, Clinton Morrison sent to Coventry (most probably). Still, the signing of young striker Calvin Andrew from Luton (-30 points) might seem a gamble but the former Hatter hitman has notched a few in pre-season.

And the annoying truth is James Scowcroft and Paul Ifil are still floating about in the blue and red both waiting to add to their ever increasing tally`s against the Hornets no doubt.

No wonder then that so many Eagles fans reckon midfielder Ben Watson is plain 'ginger nuts` in wanting away from the Palace with the future looking bright…

it`s a big chance for Warnock to get his kids to come of age and turn last season`s surprise package into a serious promotion contender.

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Writer:Dr Watford
Date:Friday August 8 2008
Time: 10:19AM


Warnock's a good manager, who over-achieved with limited rseources last season. a 20 goal a season man is what they appear to lack (but don't we all)
08/08/2008 22:40:00
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