Crystal Palace captain expects tough play-off final

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Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak admits he is close to making his Premier League dream a reality but knows the Championship final against Watford on Bank Holiday Monday is going to be a huge test for his team.

“We have some great characters in our dressing room and it's been a real joy to work with them. But by no means is it over yet,” he told the club's official website. “Obviously it's not that far away but there is a big wall called Watford ahead of us. We are expecting a tough game and we will have to earn it on the day.”

The Australian, who joined Palace in 2009 and has 38 caps for Australia, will need to be wary that he isn't overawed by the occasion when he leads his team out beneath the Wembley arch.

“I'm going to be very proud. I have a lot of family that will be watching at home and for it to be such a big occasion will make it even more special,” declared Jedinak.

The 28-year-old was handed the armband by boss Ian Holloway due to a long-term groin injury for Paddy McCarthy at the start of the season and has quickly become a fans' favourite during this campaign.

The south Londoners had a near catastrophic run-in and only secured their play-off place with a final day victory over Peterborough, courtesy of Jedinak's injury-time winner.

But as they swept their bitter rivals Brighton aside in the semi-final stage Palace will go into Monday's final full of confidence.

The stakes could not be higher, with the winner claiming a slice of the Premier League's freshly negotiated television deal, if there was ever a season to get in amongst the big boys, this is it.

Watford arguably have the better side on paper but with the reliable Julian Speroni between the sticks, Jedinak marshalling the midfield and Wilfried Zaha firing on all cylinders, the Eagles are well placed to claim the jackpot and leave victorious.


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