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Stephen Bridle: Crystal Palace second half show may have kick-started season

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Eagle-Eyed view from the Stands, published in the Croydon Advertiser every Friday PICTURE the scene last Saturday at Selhurst: the whistle had just blown for half-time and all around, bewildered faces trudged off to try and make sense of what they'd just seen.

Palace were 1-0 down against our local rivals Charlton and were lucky at that. We were playing the kind of stuff nightmares are made of – aimless football with no team cohesion. No sign of the mighty juggernaut that was Palace from earlier in the campaign.

We were so dire as to even draw a few boos from the more disgruntled and Ian Holloway admitted to getting "a bit of stick" from the fans.

The stick comes with the territory when you're in the position of responsibility Ollie is. Our new manager has changed the way that Palace play and that has coincided with this recent run of poor form.

Until the second half got underway, that is. A cobbled-together midfield three made way and new 'boy' Kevin Phillips took to the field.

What a signing he's looking already. His movement around the final third really shook Charlton up and allowed the Eagles to start playing ball. Stephen Dobbie, on loan from... you know who... also impressed.

But it took the introduction of Jonny Williams in midfield to start pulling some strings and Palace looked almost back in business.

The pass-and-move combination play and this talk of Holloway's own brand of total football looked to finally click; Phillips creating the space, Murray exploiting it and Joniesta running the show. What a turnaround.

Damien Delaney, taking over captain duties with Mile Jedinak nursing a broken face and Paddy McCarthy still missing, gave a speech in the dressing room at half-time, urging the boys to kick on and get back to winning ways.

After seeing what those three points meant to the team, he could have inspired us to go on and do just that.


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