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Fans Forum - Clarke & Kember

November 6 2001

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Forum Roundup

The latest Fans Forum happened last night in the Glazier's Bar. Steve Kember and Matt Clarke were there to answer questions. Sam Hesketh gives us his summary of what was said.

Matt Clarke

Very casual manner, as he is on the pitch. Funny guy, kept the atmosphere light hearted.

He said that he was delighted to be at Palace, and that living in London was a dream come true for him and his family (He has just got married). He also said that when he signed for Bradford he was living in Nottingham and the Bradford chairman asked him to move to within an 80 miles radiius, to which he replied "You must be joking, have you seen it round there?"

When asked about being dropped by Jeffries, it became clear that he wasn't a fan of his former boss, and he said that he did throw his dummy out of the pram but that he was just happy to move forward in his career with us. When asked if Jeffries would be a good choice as new Palace manager he said that he "couldn't run a cold bath!". Ron Atkinson was a name that he mentioned as the worst manager he has played under.

He said training was the same as usual without Bruce. It wasn't easy with all the rumours and tabloid talk about the situation but he was on a 4 year contract and he wanted to see that out at Palace and to do so in the Premiership. On that topic, he said to do well in the Premiership, you need to have 11 battlers and not superstars to do well, like Bradford did when they stayed up.

Also Clarke added that he felt we needed an "english type centre half" who would be there to head it and hoof it. He also signled out Popovic for praise and said that Vickers would be a good signing but that because it will be his last move, it is hard to say what will happen with the transfer.

Steve Kember

Great laugh as usual.

He said that he and Bullivant were definately staying at the club despite rumours Bruce wanted them to leave. He said that he was always going to stay "Birmingham wouldn't want me anyway" and that after a talk with the chairman, Bully was going to stay too, which could only be a good ting for the club. He added that Mark Bowen would be leaving as reserve manager to be the first team coach at Birmingham with Bruce.

He said that Bruce's decision undercut the need for stability, which was what looked like happening with our good pre season in Marbella and the West Country. But he said Jordan would find the right man even if it meant looking for him for 6 months.

Only the subject of transfers, Kember said that Palace were looking for a defender or two, a battling midfielder and a striker, to which he added we would be seeing a "nice little surprise" next week! He spoke of the Bak transfer saying that the player kept "umming and aahing" and so they called the move off.

Other points he made: He hasn't put his name down for manager as he thinks Jordan will see him as the backroom staff as he has been for the last 5 months under Bruce. Smith is out for 3/4 weeks after having had keyhole surgery on his knee, but he didn't have any swelling after his operation today. He said David Woozley will be back in the squad soon due to our defensive problems and that Wayne Routledge is good enough even though he is only 16. Rubins is a "waste of space" and Kabba needs to learn his faults. Finally, Popovic will be out until the end of November, missing the Crewe, Gillingham, Preston and Coventry games as he is out with Australia and that Palace will be looking to bring someone in on loan to replace him for those matches.

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