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Jansen Goal Seals Palace Win
Matt Janson in action against Creweon Tuesday Night
Victory over Crewe last night has given Terry Venables a much neededdouble confidence boost ahead of Saturday's Selhurst showdown with PortVale writes Owen Phillips.
Matt Jansen sealed the win with the only goal midway through the secondhalf in a game Palace dominated for long spells. And Venables is also nowlooking forward to a rare but welcome selection headache against JohnRudge's men this weekend.
Injury-plagued utility man Paul Warhurst is back in contention followinghis latest lay-off and Chinese internationals Fan Zhiyi and Sun Jihai arealso both in the fold after securing their work permits.
But Palace fans could soon be mourning the loss of another of lastseason's stars. Former chairman Ron Noades, now Brentford supremo, wantsIcelandic international Hermann Hreidarsson to join his new club'spromotion push. And the popular defender could be the second departure inless than a fortnight following Marc Edworthy's move to Coventry.
Terry Venables, having received work permits for his Chineseinternational defensive duo is prepared to let the centre half go foraround a million pounds.
No deal has yet been concluded but further developments are expected thisweek. Hreidarsson has just returned from international duty in Iceland'sfollowing his country's surprise 1-1 draw with World Cup winners France inthe European Championship qualifiers.
Paul Warhurst just missed out on last nights trip to Gresty Road but isexpected to be fully recovered for the weekend following his hamstringstrain. He is looking forward to getting back in the first team andhelping Palace climb the table after resuming training last Friday withoutany adverse reaction. He said: "We have got to close the gap on thetop teams. We have unfortunate not to pick maximum points from a couple ofgames already so we are looking to put that right."
With the plethora of defenders to choose from Venables may be tempted torevert to his favoured three centre back system after finally getting thepersonnel he wants to fit his style of play. Early season experimentationproved fruitless and El Tel switched to more conventional 4-4-2 formation.
But with Warhurst, Jihai, Zhiyi, Austin, Linighan and Hreidarsson allavailable El Tel could switch to the three across the back he used whenEngland manager.
Both the matches with Crewe and Port Vale are exactly the sort offixtures Palace have to win if they are serious about an automaticpromotion spot - particularly after the team's indifferent start to theseason.
John Rudge's Port Vale are currently rock bottom of the first divisionhaving picked up just a solitary point from their opening five games.Notoriously slow starters, Vale have already conceded 12 goals but pulledoff the shock result of the season with victory over Wolves on Tuesday.Despite that win Venables will be keen to take advantage of the side'slack of confidence and build on Tuesday's fine result.
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