Speroni earns Palace plaudits

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway paid tribute to his

goalkeeper Julian Speroni following the 1-0 victory over Derby at

Pride Park.

Yannick Bolasie hit Palace’s winner after 13 minutes, but it was

Speroni’s string of superb saves – culminating in deflecting Conor

Sammon’s 87th-minute spot-kick on to the crossbar – that eventually

earned the Eagles a first away win since November.

“I think he’s a wonderful person,” said Holloway. “It’s not just

what he’s like with his gloves on; he’s a wonderful human

being.

“I think he epitomises the club – we’re fresh, we’re hungry, we

want to do it. He’s been player of the year three times in a row so

he’s definitely a fans’ favourite, and he was absolutely

outstanding.

“It’s nice to get that monkey off your back and it took a

marvellous save from our goalie – I thought he was inspired.

“That’s why he’s got his own bar at our ground. To do well you

need a really good goalie and he’s proved that tonight.”

Holloway sympathised with Derby, adding: “They’ve had a lot of

bad luck. They’ve got a young side who are so enthusiastic and they

probably deserved better than they got, but we’ve got to take that

and try and move on.

“We all looked a bit nervous at the end, myself included,

because we want it so bad.

“I’m going to enjoy this because we’re in with a shout of

automatic promotion and that’s fantastic for everybody at the

club.”