As Dougie Freedman returned to Selhurst Park he may have raised a few eyebrows and broken a few fantastical dreams on departure, but the history between Dougie and the club will surely make him a fan favourite for a long time to come.
Freedman, 38, said:
Me and the fans have got a special relationship that cannot be broken. So I’m expecting them to show their appreciation just as I’ll show my appreciation of them.”
Although it’s expected a minority may not be on exactly the same page, the prospects look good for the man who kept us from relegation into the third tier in the dying minutes of 2001, and gave us many more memorable moments over the years.
The Championship being as close and contested as ever means despite Palace being favourites a win was far from certain.
Palace have stuttered under Holloway recently, leaving the Eagles ten points adrift of Cardiff at the top, and three behind Leicester in second after the Blues win last night. To keep in the fight, the likes of Bolasie and Zaha need to push on and show ever-greater blistering form. Defeats against Burnley and repeatedly conceding late on has seen wins fall from sight against Birmingham, Watford and Nottingham Forest. With this dropped points in place Palace would be settled in second place in the league.
Every game is critical to Palace’s challenge for promotion. A win over the ex-boss, and regaining the winning mentality that Freedman started and saw Palace unbeaten for fourteen games in the league is essential to bolster belief and confidence.
This, combined with an in-form Wilfried Zaha, and others such as Bolasie, a returning Jonny Williams who was excellent against Stoke, could see Palace’s youth run us rampantly into the top division. The stark contrast between Palace this season and the previous few is revitalising and refreshing for the Selhurst supporters.