In the first of a new weekly blog by Palace supporters' group FYP Fanzine, Stephen Bridle looks at the pressure directed in toward Eagles manager Dougie Freedman.
Gone, it seems, are the days when Freedman will be given the benefit of the doubt win or lose, rain or shine, as an increasing number of fans are becoming seemingly frustrated with the defensive – often labelled ‘negative’ – football that has seen the club stabilise its position in the Championship.
A string of less than inspiring performances and results have seen the Palace gaffer come under much scrutiny over recent weeks and as paying supporters part of our remit is to voice our opinion in both good times and bad.
What I take umbrage with are the fans prematurely calling for Dougie’s head, as if he’s lost it himself and has suddenly forgotten the task laid out before him.
A slow, steady, financially secure progression of the club is what was promised to us by Steve Parish et al – a long-term goal that we’re still very much on track to achieve.
Freedman, it was revealed recently, is a proponent of ‘Italian style’ football; building a solid defensive base on top of which is mounted a fluid, dynamic attack. The first half of which the Eagles have become masters of if you look back through this season, the recent Forest game being an exception to the rule.
It was also revealed recently in a post-match press conference that Freedman believes this isn’t the right time for a promotion push from the Eagles as the gaffer looks to strengthen his squad in key areas ahead of next season.
One thing we can be sure of though, is that he’s proven himself proficient in manageing a team that is able to grind out results and one that can find the strength to pull points out of the hat in unlikely situations even if we aren’t performing to fans’ expectations in every game – and that’s a skill that will be handy when it is our time to go up.
So give Dougie a break, he’s done more for our club over his ten or so years than almost anyone else - a little more patience could see us exactly where we want to be in not more than a couple of seasons.