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Fans' Forum - Francis

January 23 2002

Glaziers Tavern

Glaziers Tavern

Trevor Francis was the guest at the fans' forum tonight and Sam Hesketh gives us his account of the evening.

Francis came out to good applause, including one solitary standing ovation, and the first question asked was about the time leading up to his getting the job as Palace manager.

He said that after he had left Birmingham, he hoped Palace would be interested in him, and he got a call from Simon Jordan and met up with him in Spain, having a four-hour meeting.

He then had another meeting with Jordan, Terry Bullivant and Steve Kember, the latter two he had heard only good things about, and he jumped at the chance to join us.

He talked about his theory of having two matches on a Saturday, the second being his battle against the opposition manager, and that strength on the bench was all important, he even added that often he spends more time thinking about who to have as a sub than the first XI!

Obvious questions about transfer speculation and comparisons to Birmingham arose and he said that he had gone to see Zamora who had a terrible game against Preston and had no comment about Akinbiyi (he stayed silent after the question was asked).

He stated that the away support at Palace was much better than that of Birmingham's and that though Birmingham had a larger catchment area, Palace had more ambition.

He talked of how happy he was at sorting the defence out, with Symons, Granville and Fleming all playing well, and that no matter how good Morrison and Freedman are, it's no use scoring if you are leaking a lot at the back.

He also singled out Alex Kolinko for praise saying that he has been outstanding since Francis has been at the club and didn't see the point in bringing Matt Clarke back when Alex was in such good form.

Other stuff: Francis said he hasn't seen the youth team, though obviously he will in time; Hayden Mullins said his preferred position was at right back (!); Francis wants another striker as he is "petrified" at the thought of only having two strikers, and Benjamin went back because of an injury to Brian Deane.

Rubins is back from Troyes after an unsuccesful trial and he is back training with the Palace; Francis wants Jovan Kirovski to sign a new contract and primary discussions have started with his agent, who is currently out of the country, also the bad state of the pitch (not really much he can do is there?!).

Finally, he said that he was optimistic we can go up, and that second spot was definitely possible, as it looks Man City are going to win the league.

He did come across well, but had a bit of a tendency to speak of his time at Birmingham at every chance!

However, he redeemed himself by saying Jordan had more ambition than the Birmingham board and that he hadn't spoken to Bruce since he had got the Palace job.

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