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Season Preview 2011-12 – Crystal Palace Interview

Palace finished 20th last season, 6 points clear of relegation. Manager Dougie Freedman spent 11 seasons at Selhurst Park as a player and is now going into his first full season as a manager. Having made some good additions to his squad over the summer with the likes of Glenn Murray and Jonathan Parr, Freedman will be hoping to steer well clear of the relegation scrap this season.

We spoke to Crystal Palace supporter Mason D’Rozario (@masondrozario) about the chances of better prospects this coming season.

What would be a dream season for you?
A dream season for Palace would be to reach the play-offs and grace the Premier League once again. It would make everything that bit sweeter if we took six points off the likes of Brighton, Millwall and West Ham.
What would be your worst nightmare?
A nightmare season would be for Brighton and Charlton to get promoted and for us to get relegated. That would be the worst thing I could ever think of.
What do you think of your club’s summer transfer activity?
We’ve been relatively active in the transfer window with the signings of Glen Murray, Jonathan Parr, Kagisho Dikgacoi, and a few others that are coming in just in time for the new season that haven’t been announced yet. Dougie’s signings have looked good in pre-season. His signings have been good ever since he started at Palace, however I believe that Freedman really has let a quality player in Maxime Brillault slip through the net. On reflection, I think the signings for this season have been decent. We still need a striker and if this problem isn’t addressed we could lack a lot in attack.
Who will be your most important player/s this season?
The most important players, this season will be the same as every season. Everyone has a massive part to play this year but in particularly players like Paddy McCarthy, Nathaniel Clyne, Alex Marrow, Darren Ambrose, Sean Scannell and Glen Murray are players that are going to need to step up to insure that we climb up the table.
Any players you would happily see the back of?
I don’t really like the phrase, “Glad to see the back of” but I don’t think Jermaine Easter cuts it in the Championship. I think he may have the potential but I think he’s too lazy. He’s not overly quick or strong. I just don’t think he’s good enough or perhaps he just doesn’t suit the way Palace play.
Do you have the best manager for the job?
Dougie Freedman is a legend at the club. He knows what the club is all about and we all know that he has the passion. Maybe he’s a bit inexperienced but I think that at this precise time. He is the best man for the job.
Opposition players that you respect?
With the Championship being so strong this year, there are a lot of good, respectable and experienced players in this division. I have a lot of respect for Leicester midfielder Neil Danns. He gives everything when he steps over that White line and as a fan, you couldn’t ask for anything more. As a Palace fan obviously, this is slightly biased but what he has done for our club is nothing less than applaudable and he will without a doubt get a standing ovation when he returns to Selhurst Park. However, this doesn’t mean Leicester are going to be taking anything away from the game.
Opposition players that you despise?
I despise a lot of opposition players, although one man does spring to mind.  Grant Leadbitter, the Ipswich central midfielder. He’s a filthy player that loves winding fans up and he does it very well. I can still remember like yesterday, him celebrating and gloating  to our fans after he scored a penalty in their 2-1 win over the Eagles at Selhurst and I remember it making my blood boil.
Best away fans/ground in your league?
Best away fans? Hmm. Being slightly biased again, Crystal Palace. We pile into every ground in the league and we’re never quiet! Many fans in the Championship I’m sure will agree. Best ground in the League will have to be either Upton Park, Elland Road or the Walker’s Stadium. Such big stadiums, for big clubs that have dropped down the leagues.
Which teams do you really want to beat this season?
Obviously, I’d like to beat everyone but Brighton is an absolute must win in both matches, Millwall also is a massive 6 points that any Palace fan would love.
Finally, where do you honestly think you will finish?
I honestly think we could reach the top half of the table and perhaps float into the play-offs but for that to happen, we’d have to have an extremely good season. Mid-table is perhaps a realistic  target but like I said, I really think we could climb higher than that.
Crystal Palace fans, is Mason right or wrong? Why not sign up and have your say in the comments section below???

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