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IAN HOLLOWAY: Awesome Aaron Wilbraham did us all proud

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I WOULD like to reserve special praise for Aaron Wilbraham for Monday night.

I thought he was absolutely awesome and he summed up the mood of the players, and I'm so proud of him because his mum was taken into hospital.

You would never know it, would you? I can't say how proud I am of that man. He has been an understudy to the best striker in the division, someone who has scored more than everyone else.

Wilbraham played in that position on Monday and did brilliantly, but the lads love him, I love him, and on Monday he was awesome.

I was very unhappy in the first half for one particular trip on Wilfried on the edge of the box which Mark Clattenburg missed, and that was a bad miss from a referee of his quality.

I told him that when I was on the touchline. I did ask him about a challenge involving Andrea Orlandi when he was rolling around but I got that one wrong because he did get a cut near his eye.

I apologised to Orlandi and to Gus Poyet, but I was having a go at Clattenburg for the free-kick on the edge of the box, and then how David Lopez cynically, continentally tripped Wilfried up.

And how many of those did we see on Monday? But I could not be more proud of my football club than I am right now.

We're taking on Watford, but I'm delighted it's not Leicester City or even Bolton Wanderers, and we're completely mesmeric that it's not Brighton.

Watford are a fantastic team, but so are we, so I can't wait for it now.

I'm not being funny but their fans are really nice and there will be no problems, and they've got a lovely manager who likes to play the right way.

Last time we played them, we learn from what we do I think. We were 2-0 down at half-time but we won the second half 2-0 with quite some style and purpose.

I think they will remember that, and they do have quality players, but so have we.

I bumped into someone in a restaurant with my wife before the game and the guy was a Palace fan and his wife was a Brighton fan. She couldn't wipe the smile off her face, she had a grin from ear to ear. He asked for a photo with me, and he said 'guess who she supports'? I said 'by the look of her, it has to be Brighton'.

I'm not being funny, but Gus Poyet's interview after the game last Friday just about summed it all up. The way he was with a smile on his face ahead of Monday – well, who is smiling now, eh?

I think we made Brighton nervous and we learnt from the first game and improved.

It would have been nice of Gus to say some better things about us, but for us to go to their place and do that is amazing.

IAN HOLLOWAY: Awesome Aaron Wilbraham did us all proud


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