The winged wonder Jerome Thomas is adamant Crystal Palace already have the credentials to be a success in the Premier League.
Since starting his career in 2001, Thomas has made 103 appearances for Charlton Athletic and 99 for West Brom, so he knows a thing or two about the game, and he has been imparting his wisdom to his team-mates.
He also has one goal – to keep Crystal Palace in the Premier League this season, and push on from there.
Thomas said: “There is very little difference between the Championship and the Premier League in terms of the step up, and having seen Palace play, I know they virtually there.
“Some little things need to change – practical things like not losing possession because you will get punished in the Premier League.
“But more important is confidence. The likes of Norwich and Swansea have survived because they are confident sides.
“I have spoken to the lads about it. We need to go into the Spurs game on the opening day as if we are playing any other team.”
He added: “Sure, we still need to strengthen and I know the gaffer is hoping to bring in some more players, but it is a good group of players.”
And the 30-year-old also believes that in Ian Holloway, the Eagles have a manager who is doing the right things for club and country.
“I came to Palace because since Roberto Di Matteo left West Brom, I had not been able to play my style of attacking football, and the gaffer will let me do that.
“It’s great being around him and he knows the game so well – he is good for Palace and for England,” Thomas said.
“We’re watching videos of Bayern Munich and Spain, and talking about their formations and style of play.
“That kind of football skill is lacking among the English youngsters and until clubs are managed by more such as the gaffer, we’ll continue to struggle in the major competitions.
“He has that enthusiasm too, he makes you want to play for him.”
Palace fans may remember when Thomas turned out for Leeds United against the Eagles last season, and won the man of the match award in the game that ended Palace’s long unbeaten run.
However, Holloway remembered him for all the right reasons and when Thomas became available, the Selhurst Park supremo swooped.
Thomas said: “That performance for Leeds against Palace sowed the seed for the gaffer, and I have known of his interest every since then.
“With Palace making the Premier League, and with Ian Holloway as the boss, I knew there was nowhere else I wanted to go.”
Great influence: As manager of West Brom, Roberto Di Matteo allowed Jerome Thomas to play his own way, something the new Palace man is convinced Ian Holloway will do WA15835