Manager wary of Cherries threat

Freedman looks ahead to Saturday's clash with AFC Bournemouth

Dougie Freedman paid tribute to his opposite number Eddie Howe ahead of this weekend’s clash with Bournemouth, but reiterated his determination to come out on top when the Whites meet the Cherries.

The pair will come up against each other for only the third time in their respective managerial careers on the coast on Saturday afternoon, with Freedman currently unbeaten as Crystal Palace secured a victory and a draw over Burnley back in the 2011/12 campaign.

The Scot however is well aware of the threat which Howe and his team pose, with the Cherries having only suffered two defeats on home soil this season.

"I know Eddie quite well – he’s a young coach like myself and he’s found himself back at Bournemouth doing very well with them getting promotion," said the manager at his pre-match press conference. "He’s signed a lot of players in the summer – a lot of Championship players, a couple of top end players and that’s the reason they’re doing well.

"The boy Tokelo Rantie that they’ve got, everybody wanted to try and sign him but he’s a lot of money. We were quoted £3 million to sign him, so when that happened we felt it wasn’t the right money, but Eddie was backed and signed that player and he’s doing very well for them. 

"They’re a dangerous team and one that we’ve got to respect. We need to make sure we go down there with the right attitude and with the right game plan."

With almost 1,000 supporters set to make the trip to the south coast to back the side this weekend, Freedman admitted that the support shown by the club’s travelling fans makes all the difference and is something that he is incredibly thankful for.

"Our away fans since I’ve been here have been terrific, both vocally and in numbers, so long may that continue," he said.

"I’d like to say a big thank you to the away fans, because there’s been certain games away from home that we’ve let them down and certain games away last year that we were terrific."

The manager also revealed that Mark Davies is close to a return to action, with the midfielder having been sidelined since suffering a knee injury against Peterborough United back in February.

"Mark Davies trained with us on Friday morning for 20 minutes or so, but he’s about three weeks away from joining in the team training and about four to five weeks away from putting a strip on with the Under 21s. 

He added: "He’s very close, but we need to make sure that he’s right when we do it, so maybe mid-December will be when we see him."

To watch the manager's full pre-match interview, please click below.

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