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October 18 2021 8.22pm

McCarthy hails defensive acquisitions

July 8 2012

Paddy McCarthy

Paddy McCarthy

Paddy McCarthy reckons the signing of fellow defenders Joel Ward and Aaron Martin will ensure Crystal Palace's back line remains water tight next season.

Palace manager Dougie Freedman lost out-of-contract centre half Anthony Gardner and right-back Nathaniel Clyne is likely to be leaving the club over the summer after rejecting a new deal.

The pair played a major role in the Eagles' impressive rearguard that conceded just 51 league goals last season - the fifth best in the Championship.

And although McCarthy admits losing the players is a blow, the skipper believes taking Ward from Portsmouth and Martin on a season's loan from Southampton is a good bit of business.

"Anthony [Gardner] was a fantastic player for us. I enjoyed playing with him and when you lose someone like that it is disappointing," he said.

"But I spoke with Dougie and he speaks very highly of Aaron Martin, both as a player and as a person. I am looking forward to meeting him and I am sure he will do a great job for us.

"He played his part in a promotion-winning team and hopefully he can bring that to us.

"There was a lot of interest in Joel and the fact that he decided to come to Palace bodes well."

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