BY SAM SMITH
Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey has noticed a change in Selhurst Park’s atmosphere in the aftermath of the Holmesdale Fanatics’ move from block B of the Holmesdale Road end.
The supporters group formed in 2005 and were renowned for their tribalistic ‘ultras’ mantra – often leading the atmosphere inside the ground.
But in the summer they moved from their location in the corner of the Holmesdale and dispersed around the stadium following a dispute with the club, writes Sam Smith.
Hennessey said: “Obviously it’s not as loud. It’s disappointing that they are not there because they would give us a good lift, a good boost – even when we were losing and especially when we were shooting towards that end.
“I know that they’re not there anymore and that there’s conflict – but we won’t go into that. They are a miss at the moment.”
The 31-year-old has been in good form at the start of this season. He earned the man of the match award in the opening day victory at Fulham and on Saturday he saved Charlie Austin’s penalty.
It follows his excellent end to the last campaign. Hennessey has been happy with his form – and points to the help he has had from goalkeeper coach Dean Kiely, and previous coach Martyn Margetson.
“Deano [Dean Kiely] has come in and he’s been fantastic. I’ve been very fortunate with the last couple of goalkeeper coaches, I’ve had Martyn Margetson and Deano who are probably the top two I’ve ever had so I’ve been lucky in that aspect.
“I’ll try to take the positives from the game [against Southampton]. It was my first penalty save for Crystal Palace – I’m happy in that aspect – but I’ve had two goals go in against me so I’m disappointed in that sense.
“I’m not a goalkeeper who wants to make loads and loads of saves. If I can help out in any way, that’s fantastic – that’s the achievement I want.
“But it’s all about clean sheets, everyone looks at clean sheets. I’ve only had one this season and I want as many as possible.”