Freedman expects good reception

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , chief football writer

A FROSTY reception holds no fears for Dougie Freedman as he makes his way back to Crystal Palace this afternoon.

The former Crystal Palace boss led the Eagles from administration and the Championship relegation zone to the top of the table in 18 months at the helm.

In all, he spent more than a decade at the club as player, coach and manager and he believes his record at Selhurst Park should spare him most of the Palace fans’ wrath as he returns for the first time since quitting the club for the Reebok last October.

“There will be a minority of people who don’t see eye-to-eye with the decisions you make but I think the majority will recognise the job I did,” he said. “I would imagine that the majority will give me a good reception.

“I am very proud of what I achieved. I will be walking in with my head held very highly because when we got there we were nearly bottom of the league, and took them nearly to the top with big assets.

“When I took the club over we were in the bottom three and there had been a lot of hard luck there.

“Myself, my staff, the fans and the recruitment side of it all worked very hard. We all played a part in moving the club forward and leaving it with tens of millions of pounds worth of assets.

“I am very proud of that and you can’t take it away.

“This was a challenge that I couldn’t turn down.”

Freedman brought the likes of Lennie Lawrence, Cutris Fleming and Jamie Fullarton with him from South East London but says he has had no contact with the Eagles’ hierarchy.

“I feel that it was only right that I didn’t speak until this moment about Crystal Palace because of my affection for the club, and I think it would harm the club,” he said.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone at all, I have let them get on with it, and if I have brought in any staff I have gone through the right channels.”

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