Eagles hero Kenny Sansom believes Crystal Palace can stay up, but must bottle recent confidence for their winnable run of games coming up.
Palace had a really bad start to the season and they made a little recovery, but they need to get their mindset back to when they played Chelsea a few weeks ago.
Chelsea didn’t play badly that day, but Palace played so well. The team spirit – I don’t know who it came from, the chairman or the manager – it was fantastic. That’s not easy, but all the lads went out there and did their best.
Palace scored first and Chelsea kept attacking back, but Palace just kept going and deserved to win. The Palace fans I met after the game were just so happy, because the players gave so much effort. Palace, individually as players, did their jobs against Chelsea. It’s easy to say that Chelsea didn’t play well, but Palace were that good.
It’s been a difficult time for the players, with management changes at the club. A manager of a club is like a Dad with his kids. You’ve got to keep the players happy. And then they can perform. Obviously I want Palace to stay up and I hope that they do.
After beating Chelsea, Palace have lost some more games, but the good thing is they’ve not been big defeats, 1-0 to Newcastle and Tottenham.
Palace should have beaten Bristol City in the League Cup, because they are better players. Maybe if Hodgson had been in charge for longer at the time, we would have fared a bit better, but I think how Palace lost in Bristol affected them at home to West Ham.
Palace looked a bit down in the first half and West Ham took advantage, to go 2-0 up. But I think the Bristol defeat gave the players some determination to put that right. How they came back to draw late on, they’ve got to bottle that for the rest of the season.
In my opinion Crystal Palace are in trouble, big trouble, because they are bottom of the table, with 9 defeats in 11 games. But they have a run of decent games for the next six weeks, before Christmas. They’ve got to grab this chance to get wins. It might be the best chance they get to pull out of trouble.
I’ve not got coaching badges, but I’d love to lead the players out for one game. It would mean a lot to me and a lot to the fans. There’s a risk that clubs can forget about how important the fans are. When people stop me on the street for an autograph, “I say ‘yeah no problem’”. In my day, we’d sign for people. I’m not sure modern footballers do that enough, but I hope they do.
My Mum used to keep me down to earth. I was playing for the Palace youth team, maybe around 1974 and there weren’t many people watching in those days. When I came out, my Mum was there. I said to her “I thought I played alright tonight”. And she said “The winger got a cross in”. She was brilliant, my Mum.