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May 31 2023 4.49pm

HALL ready for Saints

November 25 2004

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace

FITZ HALL insists he has nothing to prove against his former club Southampton as he returns to St Mary's on Saturday the first time since his 1.5 million move from the Saints in August, by Stuart Pink.

The Palace defender has been one of the Eagles most consistent performers this campaign and has made the centre back position his own since his early season flirtation in a midfield holding role.

HALL's achievements this season stand in stark contrast to his fortunes at the Saints last season where he only made eight starts under managers Gordon Strachan and Paul Sturrock.

HALL says: "I wasn't given a chance there, I was put in for most of the big games and I felt I did well, but as soon as the senior pro's got fit they were back in.

"That was one of the reasons why I came to Palace because I thought I stood a better chance of playing every week."

One man who is thankful for Southampton's reluctance to play the centre-back is Iain Dowie. He was delighted to re-sign the player he previously managed at Oldham.

Dowie said: "He's got nothing to prove to me and I'm sure he's got nothing to prove to the people there.

"We were fortunate to get him away for whatever the fee was, and I think it's a bargain.

"If they're talking 5 million for (Michael) Dawson at Forest, then what's FITZ HALL worth?"

Palace fans can be assured that HALL won't be distracted by his return to St Mary's and will prepare for the game just like any other as Palace look to put further distance between themselves and 17th-placed Southampton.

HALL added: "I'm not really too fussed about Southampton. I'm going to concentrate on getting the points for Crystal Palace and I'm not bothered if their fans might think they've missed out on FITZ HALL.

"Crystal Palace fans have got me now and that's how it is."

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