Thanks to Stephen Bridle from Five Year Plan Fanzine for taking part.

We last met at Elland Road in September when Leeds won 3-2. Has much changed for Palace since then?

A lot has changed since we met near the beginning of the season. I feel we played a good game against you and we’ve won many games this season having played worse football. Our fortunes have picked up since then and we’ve enjoyed many successes – with perhaps the most outstanding games being our 2-1 victory over Man United at Old Trafford and spanking Brighton 3-1 at their place.

We’re in good stead at the moment and spirits are high after beating Cardiff on Tuesday evening, so you’ll certainly have your work cut out.

You’ve had an impressive run in the Carling Cup, but do you think this has affected Palace’s form in the league?

Not really. We’d been using the cup to blood a few youngsters. Much was made of United’s changes to their usual starting line-up when we played them, but what most pundits seem to neglect to do is put any sort of research time into the lower league team when it comes to these sorts of games. If they had they’d have found we also have been making many changes throughout our cup campaign. We’ve got enough depth in the squad to have allowed us to stay strong in both competitions. While we’re not on the run that saw us a fixture in the play-off positions like earlier in the season I think we’ve still managed to hold our own.

With the play-offs still achievable, where do you expect to finish this year?

I expect we’ll finish just outside of the play-off positions. Which would be a huge achievement given the relegation struggles we’ve faced over the last few years. A season to regroup in mid-table could work wonders for us. Of course a finish in the play-offs with the prospect of promotion would be lovely, but I won’t be losing sleep if it doesn’t happen.

Who should we be looking out for in your side on Saturday?

If he’s fully recovered from his virus, right-back Nathaniel Clyne is the one to watch. He’s been linked with all manner of Premier League clubs this season – including Manchester United – and he’s really a force to be reckoned with.

Going forward most people tend to look at Wilfried Zaha, who it has to be said of late isn’t putting in the performances he was at the beginning of the season.

The Championship 2011/12: 3 up, 3 down?

Southampton, West Ham and Middlesbrough to go up. In that order.

In no particular order Millwall, Doncaster and Coventry to go down.

If you could sign one current Leeds player for Palace, who would it be?

It’d probably be Becchio. He always scores against us, so it’d be nice to see what he’d do if he was with us.

Finally, what’s your prediction for the game?

I think it’ll be a tough game, but this time we’ll come out on top. Expect us to play calm, defensive football looking to catch you on the counter. That’s seemingly how we’re lining up at home so far this season. We’re solid at the back – as a quick glance at the stats table will tell you – so a high-scoring game it won’t be.

Palace 2-1 Leeds

8 Responses

  1. TSS

    Cheers once again Stephen, and congratulations on your League Cup success.

    Quite concerned by your confidence. I’m not used to such optimism being exhibited by Palace fans and much prefer the general feeling of impending doom Palace supporters used to come packaged with.

  2. morleywhite

    Y dont leeds get cheer leaders like that?

    suppose it might finish Master bates off if they ever performed at Elland road lol

  3. number1inyorkshire

    Are those cheerleaders there every home game is question 1

    question 2 is if they are how much is a season ticket .

  4. number1inyorkshire

    we have been confident in previous years ,hell i went to cardiff and wembley ,with silver polish ,

    as palace have had a struggle in recent years its good that they are confident ,but so am i on this one

    2-1 to leeds

  5. derbyshire white

    Palace have just taken McShane on loan from Hull but he looks a bit short of match practice and can’t see him playing tomorrow. Hopefully Clyne won’t either but those ra-ra skirts should be enough for Snods to pull the shirt on

  6. Captaincrash

    and another one who would sign not Mc Cormack, not Snods, not Clayton but Luciano!

  7. Colin

    Just win Leeds. Just win. Doesn’t matter how. I’ve got a soft spot for Palace, a well run club with good young players, good fans and a good manager.

    But that has to be put to one side. Just win Leeds. Just win.

    We NEED the 3 points.


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