Danny Gabbidon: Why I signed for Crystal Palace
DANNY GABBIDON has revealed he turned down offers from Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forest to sign for Palace.
The 33-year-old was released by Queens Park Rangers over the summer, and he exclusively told Advertiser Sport that the major factor in him signing for the Eagles was managerial duo Dougie Freedman and Lennie Lawrence.
"I wanted to go somewhere I could enjoy myself with a good bunch of lads, enjoy my football again and work with a good manager," he said.
"I had offers from Ipswich Town and Nottingham Forest, who wanted me to go up and train with them, but it just didn't seem right with Forest as I wasn't sure they were totally committed and interested in me really.
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"I worked with Lennie Lawrence from when I was at Cardiff and Dougie is young, fresh and has good ideas.
"And I like the way they both complement each other, so I think Palace was the best option for me all round.
"I think I've made a good decision and I've really enjoyed my time at the club so far."
And having spent the last six years playing in London, Gabbidon admits he is looking to move close to Palace's training ground in Beckenham and Selhurst Park.
"From my West Ham days, I was living in Essex, so I had to rent a place while I was at Queens Park Rangers as it was a bit too far," he revealed.
"It's a bit similar now at Palace to commute from Essex, so I'm just looking for somewhere to rent at the moment close to the training ground and the stadium, so I'm not really looking to move properly.
"Obviously it helps a little bit, but if I have to move, that's what I will have to do, and as everyone knows, it's all part of a footballer's life and you get used to it."
The former Welsh international missed out on the chance to face his former club Cardiff last weekend, but he was happy with what he saw from his new team-mates.
"I thought it was a great game and the boys have played really well over the last three or four games that I've seen," he said.
"Cardiff had two shots and two goals early on, but for the rest of the game we dominated so I was happy to see us come out on top.
"I could see from the first week at training that the lads all get on really well and there's a good spirit around the team.
"It's always nice to play against your old team, and I spent quite a lot of time at Cardiff, so it would have been good to have been involved in the game, but it's a bit too early as I'm getting fit still."
Gabbidon is currently working hard to improve his fitness after his release from Loftus Road, so when does he think that the Palace faithful will get to see their new signing in action?
"I was coming along OK but I've had a sore calf over the last few days so that's set me back a little, but I think it's from training quite hard for the last couple of weeks, and before that I didn't have a team, so I was trying to keep up the fitness myself," he said.
"It's not the same kind of thing, going from not really doing a lot to intensive training, so my calf must be thinking 'what's going on', but I'm hoping in the next week or two I can be there or thereabouts and maybe get a reserve team game in.
"But if not, I will be working hard in training and be ready when I can because I want to get back out there and get involved."
Palace are unbeaten in their last four games and faced Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
Speaking before the game, Gabbidon said: "I've seen Bolton play a few games and they've struggled a little bit. I know they got a good result in their last game at Sheffield Wednesday, but they have found it tough coming down from the Premier League and they have to adjust.
"There is nothing to fear and if we concentrate on our game, we can go there, and why can't we get a result? Just because they've come down from the Premier League, it doesn't mean that we can't go there and play well.
"Bolton are a big club, it's a nice stadium and it's a good game for us, so hopefully we can show what we can do.
"A lot of people may think we don't stand a chance of winning, but we're confident in what we're doing and hopefully we can pick up a result."