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Ian Holloway: If I was a Crystal Palace fan I would be thanking Dougie Freedman

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THIS Saturday is another big game for us in the Championship, but I know there will be an extra edge with Dougie Freedman returning to Selhurst Park.

The group I've inherited from him, I'm delighted to have.

It's a 'thank you' from the group for the work he did – it's as simple as that.

If I was a fan of Crystal Palace, I would be thanking Dougie Freedman for how solid he left the club and for the players he's left for the next manager.

It's different for fans, because they don't change their allegiances, they don't lose their jobs, or they don't do a good job then get the sack – it's always their club.

I know Dougie. He cares about what he does and he cares about Palace – I know he does. And I know he did.

But he's got ambitions and he wanted to move for whatever reason. It will be interesting one day if he talks about how he felt and why he did leave, because he hasn't had the opportunity yet.

I'm sure some Blackpool fans would say the same things about me.

All you can do is try and do a good job, be professional and try to leave the place in a better state than when you found it.

I'm sure Dougie has done that and I'm the lucky beneficiary.

Any fan has got every right to pay their money and have an opinion – that's the beautiful thing about football.

However, people want to know my honest opinion? Well, that is what a fantastic job Dougie and his staff did for Crystal Palace Football Club, and I'm delighted to have taken up the reins.

I'm delighted the club chose me to come in and I want to have a good go at having a brand of football here that people think is modern and that is sustainable that makes our younger players sought after and do really well.

And hopefully we can catch up to these clubs who might want to buy our best players at the moment – that's all I want.

I just want to say 'thank you' more than anything to Dougie. I understand how people might feel, but they might not know the thinking behind it.

To be honest, Blackpool fans are saying I haven't told them why I left, but with the greatest respect, when you work with a board of directors and chairman, why should you go away and talk about them afterwards? Palace came in and paid an amount for me more than I had as a player and I'm proud of that.

I'm also proud of what I did at my former club, but why the fans want me to dish the dirt on somebody, it's just ridiculous.

How wrong would it be for me to criticise anybody?

I think it would be completely derogatory. For me, I won't like it if I hear any of the Palace fans do that to Dougie on Saturday – I'd rather get on with my job.

I've always been vocal in thanking him for the way he left this football club – don't forget what he did for you and Palace.

Ian Holloway: If I was a Crystal Palace fan I would be thanking Dougie Freedman


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