DOUGIE Freedman was proud of his Crystal Palace team’s efforts against league leaders Southampton and can see similarities between the two sides.

The Eagles succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at Selhurst Park on Easter Monday but despite the loss, the Palace chief believes there was not much between the teams.

He said: “I felt we controlled and edged the first half.

“Their goal was pretty much against the run of play so it was a bitter pill to swallow.

“If we look at both clubs and understand where we are in our development, then I am happy.

“Southampton three or four years ago were in the process of developing and are now a little bit further along the line than us, which was the difference in this match.

“They are a club with a little bit more experience than us, but I felt we had a real togetherness.

“I felt every Crystal Palace fan knew what we were trying to do and I thought it was a fantastic display.

“When you have a player like Rickie Lambert who is the highest goal scorer in the division, is very experienced and knows how to take his goals, he can change a game.

“He was pretty much the difference between the two sides.”

Yesterday’s defeat was palace’s third on the spin and leaves the Eagles 16th in the Championship.

But Freedman is hoping to improve on this position next season and believes the performances against the likes of Southampton will at least give his confidence.

He explained: “I’m proud of what I have seen from the fans and the players and I understand what I have to do next season to move this team forward.

“We stood up to Southampton through effort, desire and commitment and I thought there was very little in the game.

“We did not roll over against a team that is going to win this league and I think seven or eight of them that played today might play for them in the Premier League.

“While I am disappointed with the result, the overall performance was a good collective effort and we all have to believe in what we are trying to do.

“A few years ago Southampton were trying to rebuild just as we are trying to do now.

“We were not bullied or outplayed but in the end just a little bit of experience in the top half went missing.”

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