Palace looking to make it an East Anglian double
CRYSTAL Palace manager Dougie Freedman is looking to take advantage of Ipswich Town’s shaky home form and achieve a rare away win in today’s Championship fixture at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm).
While Town have won just one of their last five matches on Suffolk soil, the Eagles have tasted success just once on their travels this term – ironically on their last visit to East Anglia when they beat Norwich City at Carrow Road last October.
Palace’s form at Selhurst Park has been as good as any in the division and it’s a lack of points on the road that sees Palace still needing points to ensure Championship football next term.
Freedman, who took over from George Burley in January, said: “When I first came in we had to stop getting beat every week, get much tighter at the back and get ourselves out of the bottom three.
“We’ve done that and now we have to improve the away record and put together back-to-back wins.
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“I’m very confident that we can do it. Going to Ipswich and then Leicester City on Tuesday won’t be easy, but we’re getting closer away from home and the results have to come soon.”
Freedman is determined to secure Championship survival and went on: “The players we have are better than our league position suggests.
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“If you look at the form since Christmas then we would be far higher up the table.
“But we are where we are and we have to deal with that.
“I still feel that one of the clubs above will get sucked into the relegation scrap and to be absolutely sure we’re safe we want to get past some of them.
“I’m not setting any targets as it’s impossible to predict other results but when I look at my team I feel they should be a lot higher up the table and that’s what we’re working on.”
David Wright (calf) and Alex Marrow (ankle) will not be ready for the games at Ipswich or Leicester. Gavin Mahon is also unlikely to feature as he builds up his fitness after a long lay-off.
Pablo Counago is ruled out of the game with parent club Ipswich due to the terms of his loan.