Gardner has Palace dreaming of Wembley


CRYSTAL PALACE manager Dougie Freedman praised the character of his side after Anthony Gardner’s goal ensured they would take a precious lead to Cardiff in a fortnight’s time for the second leg of their Carling Cup semi final.

Former Spurs defender Gardner headed the only goal of a tense first leg two minutes before half time to put the Eagles, who knocked out Manchester United at Old Trafford in the previous round, within touching distance of a first Wembley cup final appearance in 22 years.

“We showed character and determination. We all worked hard for the clean sheet,” said Freedman, whose squad had been badly affected by a virus that swept through the camp this week.

“It might be the crucial goal. We have got a team set up to win away from home. We’ll go there quietly confident and it’ll be a very interesting game.”