Palace blog: We need a bit of excitement
12:36pm Thursday 12th April 2012 in Crystal Palace
Stephen Bridle, a member of Crystal Palace fanzine Five Year Plan, would like a taste of the future in the Eagles' final four games.
Dougie Freedman used his post-match press conference after the Southampton game to thank the fans for getting behind the team of young players he let have a go at the league leaders after a string of unfortunate, unacceptable and/or uninspiring performances, writes Stephen Bridle.
He also made mention of the similarities between the development of the two clubs as a whole, admitting the Saints were further along with their plans than we are at the moment – though really you only have to take a quick glance at the table to work that one out.
Nevertheless, it was an interesting comparison for the gaffer to make and one that is incredibly promising if you can find faith in the intention.
Southampton have had a few seasons to gel together as a unit under the stewardship of Nigel Adkins, a relatively young manager himself though a decade older than Freedman.
The Saints are where they are now because of the patience afforded to them by their fans as they struggled to escape from the league below. A similar position to the one we find ourselves in.
As we have seen with Swansea, a team who have just escaped from the Championship and look to have bucked the trend of play-off promoted clubs going down in the first season, patience is very much an integral part of their philosophy both on and off the pitch and has led to much success.
When Dougie took over at Palace there was much acceptance of a long-term plan to arrive at our ultimate goal of Premier League football making slow, but steady and financially sound progress.
It is unfortunate then that Freedman has come under fire lately for the type of football the club is playing, but not unfair or unexpected given our recent run.
Fans of the Eagles much prefer the excitement of a rollercoaster to the slow roll of a Croydon tram, so it is not without reason that the disappointment of the season petering out the way it is has with such lacklustre performances has become such an issue.
Palace fans need to find a little faith, but we have been tricked before – blind faith is a bit of a stretch.
Without being shown a little taste of an exciting future on the pitch to come then I fear that all important patience will quickly run out.
Stephen Bridle is a member of Palace fanzine Five Year Plan. Follow them on Twitter @fypfanzine or go to fiveyearplanfanzine. co.uk