Double celebration for Eagles

Dougie Freedman prepares to make a change in the 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday on September 1 - the starting point of Palace's impressive run

Dougie Freedman prepares to make a change in the 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday on September 1 - the starting point of Palace's impressive run

First published in Latest Sport This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , sports editor

CRYSTAL Palace’s spectacular transformation in fortunes has been officially recognised with Dougie Freedman and Glenn Murray both winning the monthly Championship gongs for September.

The Eagles lost all three of the league games in August and crashed out of the Capital One cup in a heavy 4-1 defeat at League One Preston.

But they haven’t looked back after finally getting off the mark in the Championship with a 2-1 home win over Sheffield Wednesday on September 1, following it up with a 1-0 victory at rivals Charlton, their first league success at The Valley since the late 1960s.

That was followed by a 1-1 home draw with Nottingham Forest and a remarkable recovery from 2-0 down at home to big-spending Cardiff to win 3-2 against the Bluebirds on September 22.

Palace signed the month off with a 1-0 success at Bolton, their first ever league win at the Trotters, with Murray scoring the decisive goal from the penalty spot late on.

The striker also scored both goals in the victory against Sheffield Wednesday and all three in the success over Cardiff, a return which bagged him the Championship player of the month prize.

Murray told the Crystal Palace website: “I’m really pleased, obviously we've had a really great month as a team so it’s very nice to be awarded.

“The highlight of the month for me would be scoring the winner against Bolton, even though it was a penalty it was an important goal for us.”

Palace’s impressive run also ensured Freedman picked up the manager of the month prize for the first time since taking control at Selhurst in early 2011.

The boss said: “I’m the leader of the club and it's me that picks up the awards but not necessarily myself who does all the hard work, the players have put in a lot of effort on the training ground and they’re reaping the rewards from that.

“I like to see this as a reward for the club although I pick it up.

“To go to Bolton away and beat Cardiff at home are very positive results for us as I believe these teams will be right at the top come the end of the season so it just shows you how far we have come as a club.

“This group of players certainly have a lot more belief in themselves following these results.”

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