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FAN COLUMN: Crystal Palace staying up early is so significant

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Winning promotion on the last day of the season can provide incredible entertainment to supporters, as can achieving safety, but there's greater value in securing your status with weeks to spare. One of the concerns going into this season was that we just weren't ready for Premier League football. We weren't prepared. Our stadium needed work, our squad needed additions, our entire structure needed to be reorganised. Ian Holloway spoke of the difficulty of securing players two or three weeks behind fellow Championship promotees. It's difficult to compete at the bottom of the table anyway - to have other relegation rivals gain an advantage just makes the task more difficult. Which is why achieving Premier League safety weeks before the season's end is so significant. The club have more time to think through next season's strategy - what do we need, who do we need to sign, what do we intend to do next season? All of these questions can be answered in advance rather than by waiting to see where we lie once all the fixtures are completed. The club are already being linked with a number of players and the infrastructure will take a further advanced step with undersoil heating being installed during the summer. It's a strange phenomenon to be safe with two figures to go, but the club can't and won't rest on its laurels.

FAN COLUMN: Crystal Palace staying up early is so significant


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