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Julian Speroni praying for Palace stay

Sunday, 11 May 2014

JULIAN Speroni is praying that today's match at Fulham will not bring down the curtain on his Crystal Palace career.

And the Eagles legend - who picked up his fourth Player of the Year award at the club's annual bash on TUesday - is not expecting any guarantees that he will be first-choice next season.

Speroni is out of contract at the end of next month and any talks about an extension will not start until after the Premier League campaign finishes at Craven Cottage tomorrow.

The Argentinian star - 35 later this month - has attracted interest from Premier League new boys Leicester City and Sunderland.

But Speroni's preference remains to agree a new deal at Selhurst Park. Co-chairman Steve Parish has already told the South London Press that the hugely popular South American will be offered a contract.

The shotstopper will not be short of offers if he does leave SE25. He pulled off the latest in a string of stunning saves when he tipped Daniel Sturridge's shot onto his right post in Monday's riproaring 3-3 draw against Liverpool.

"It is nice when you get recognised and know people are interested in you," said Speroni. "It's a compliment.

"It's normal in football that when you are doing well there will be interest. It makes me very proud of what I'm doing.

"But I keep saying every time - I want to stay at Crystal Palace."

Speroni's form has ensured that January signing Wayne Hennessey has not had a look-in since arriving from Wolves.

Speroni has rejected any notion that he woUld want assurances of regular game time before putting pen to paper.

He said: "You don't get guarantees like that - and I wouldn't ask for one.

"When I first came to the club I was told I woUld be the number one, then they signed Gabor Kiraly and he did well and I was number two. You can be number one but if you make mistakes in the first few games then the other keeper gets a chance.

"I'm confident in myself and know what I can do.

That kind of competition keeps me on my toes - especially in this league. Nothing is easy and you always have to be at the top of your game.

"If not you lose your place - I think that is fair."

Speroni has been used to proving himself to the succession of bosses since he was brought to Palace from Dundee by Iain Dowie.

He said: "Over the years I've had to show the new manager what I can do - usually because they haven't seen me play much.

"Thankfully I've managed to do that. You have to be professional."

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