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By Daniel Smith, London24 Crystal Palace blogger
Friday, December 7, 2012
Crystal Palace’s victory in the derby against Brighton was thoroughly enjoyed by all those associated with the SE25 club. It also highlighted another key attribute the squad possesses as it approaches a busy Christmas schedule - composure.
"The team has developed into a threat and real promotion contender in this league"
Lewis Dunk’s silly tackle so soon into the game left Brighton having to spend more than 80 minutes with only 10 men on the field. This presented the Eagles with the challenge of breaking down their opponents and making the numerical advantage count in a high-pressure game.
It was something they successfully completed and was a very good indicator of the strength and determination of the team. In a derby game with the fans expecting a victory after the dismissal, the players delivered.
Name: Daniel Smith
Twitter handle: @dmsmith1987
Season Ticket Holder
Favourite player: Glenn Murray
Most memorable game: Brighton 1 Palace 3 (2011-12)
Predicted finish: Mid-table
Manager Ian Holloway praised the professional manner in which Brighton were dispatched, and he could not have been more spot-on. It would have been easy to panic and try to force the situation, but when Brighton got everyone behind the ball and allowed Palace to spread the play, the Eagles were unflustered.
There had been chances to score before Glenn Murray’s opener and the patient build-up play shows how the team has developed into a threat and real promotion contender in this league.
In the past it may have been a different story, but there is a belief and confidence in this team and that is something that has not been seen at Selhurst for a while.
This is the most promising thing for Palace fans to take away from Saturday’s victory. Of course there are bragging rights and banter about former Albion man Murray putting in an excellent performance, but the mental strength and composure shown by the team can now hold them in good stead in the future.
If they are ever to come into that situation again, they know they can overcome it. Sometimes breaking down 10 men is more difficult than 11, but Palace can now tick off another important quality in their quest to be in the promotion mix at the end of the season.