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Opposing View - Crystal Palace

Opposing View - Crystal Palace
Vital Crystal Palace editor Eddy Eagle joins us today to provide some detailed information on the Eagles...

We're in the second half of the season now - how have Palace fared versus your fears and expectations?

Well the obvious fear for Palace would be another relegation battle and a season with very little to get excited about, and with how things have gone that fear couldn't be further from the truth of what we've seen and experienced.

My hope was a solid midtable finish for this season, a grounding for us to push on from again and continue to grow and develop given our previous financial worries, so to have a fantastic Carling Cup run and really to be doing so well in the league (in many cases you can argue we have let a lot of points slip and could be higher) has been fantastic.

There is talk of the Play-Offs amongst the players and whilst that's probably a step too far, if we can start taking three points more often again, there isn't really a reason why we couldn't be a surprise at the end of the season.

A Carling Cup or a Play Off appearance?

I think Play-Off place would work for the club better, but as nobody expected either at the start of the season I'd gladly have taken either - or both if being selfish!

How much of a blow was the Carling Cup semi defeat?

It was obviously disappointing because you do let yourself get carried away and start thinking 'what if' but the league has always been our focus, and the run was a very welcome and entertaining distraction, so overall it probably did us more good than bad in terms of being gutted to lose out.

Kwesi Appiah and Michael Chambers arrived in January, two prospects, a good policy for Palace?

A very good policy for us, and Dougie really does believe in the youngsters stepping up and making their mark. Our development of players has really been something to get behind even in the lower moments over the last few years, and hopefully these two additions will be the next to become household names and start grabbing the headlines.

With the financials issues we've had we can't go out and spend big, so highlighting talent and bringing them through has already worked wonders for us, and I would hope that doesn't change.

Who will be the key man for the Eagles and why?

I have to be obvious here and go for Wilfried Zaha. We've plenty of players that are capable of causing you problems, but he has to be the main threat even from a confidence point of view.

Where will you finish this season?

I would gladly take anything above 14th to be honest.

Match prediction?

We haven't won for a while so I'd really like to say 2-1 to us, but I think probably a share of the spoils, another 1-1.

Cheers Eddie - lots of similarities to Watford here, a club with a high number of exciting youngsters operating on a small budget just looking to consolidate. Good luck after 4.45pm today!

Writer:Tom Bodell
Date:Saturday February 18 2012
Time: 10:16AM

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