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Opposing View: Crystal Palace

Opposing View: Crystal Palace
Vital Palace editor Eddy the Eagle joins us to help preview Friday`s big show-down at the Vic...

How has the season gone in terms of your expectations?
Far, far better than we could've expected to be absolutely honest.

After our recent financial troubles and league struggles I think most fans were just looking for a few improvements in our league placing this time around, not to be in a relegation battle, and just sit more comfortably and enjoyably in mid-table, and that was pretty much what I still expected despite our initial start to the season.

We then just sort of exploded and had some fantastic results and runs of games and then Dougie walked. I worried initially that it would derail us for a bit and especially when Holloway was announced that maybe he'd be a bit too bubbly to follow a more understated Dougie.

Thankfully I was completely wrong and in the most part we have continued with favourable results. A few hiccups, but obviously we've strengthened our strike force now, so hopefully we can continue to build on our 5th place at the moment and maybe, just maybe hope for a bit of a run into the top two?

Frankly, although making the Play-Off`s would be a dream, if the worst happens now and we slip just outside the places, it's still been an enjoyable season to remember and something for us to build on. It would also be bitterly disappointing though.

January's gone - how did it go for Palace?

Relatively well, although part of me wishes we didn't now know Zaha's fate.

In terms of incomings Kevin Phillips and Stephen Dobbie give us something different upfront, and alternative options and we've loaned in Ashley Richards who should help give us more depth in defence. A few permanent deals would've been nice, but again it's something we can revisit in the summer depending on how people do.

Why are you drawing so many games recently?

Well to be honest it's better than losing them!

Also, a lack of punch up top unless players were on fire, which is why it's nice to see Holloway strengthen that area, and of course when we're not firing on all cylinders up front that does invite pressure at the back.

I think to be honest it's just one of those spells where results have been a bit all over the place, but with some fresh blood in the dressing room hopefully that'll be the lift we need to get on a winning streak.

Ian Holloway or Dougie Freedman?

Tough question. I still feel a little bitter Dougie walked, but I think he's going to prove himself to be a very good manager in years to come. But for the here and now, Holloway has all the experience of successfully running a promotion stint and he'll have learnt a lot from his relegation with Blackpool, so I think for where we are, we are in better hands with Holloway.

Who will be your key man on Friday?

I think Kevin Phillips. He has an experience that nobody else in our regular front line does, and I think he'll just give us that bit of know-how that should benefit those around him.

One player you'd drive to his next club & why?

I think we'll need everyone just in case more injuries hit us to be fair, Jedinak's going to be a big loss depending on how long he is out.

One Watford player you'd pinch and why?

I must admit to not knowing too much about your players, but I do think Jonathan Hogg would give us a nice bit of bite in midfield and an option other than Jedinak and Kagisho Dikgacoi.

Any injuries or suspensions?

We are still without Paddy McCarthy in defence, and obviously Mile Jedinak I doubt will be involved. Not sure if Owen Garvan will be back in contention but I wouldn't expect it, and Man City loanee Alex Nimely is still out for a few weeks. I don't believe there are any other issues at the moment.

Match prediction?

With the boost in confidence we gained from Charlton, I think we might edge you 1-0. A draw would by no means be knocked, but it would be nice to try and put a bit of a gap between us two in the league.

Cheers Eddy, remember to CLICK HERE to see how I answered Eddie`s questions.

Writer:Tom Bodell
Date:Thursday February 7 2013
Time: 7:22PM

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