Crystal Palace: Mile Jedinak proud of team character

Mile Jedinak

Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak has hailed the character of his team-mates after they progressed to the Championship play-off final.

Palace booked a place at Wembley after beating rivals Brighton 2-0 on Monday.

The 28-year-old told BBC London 94.9: "I am very proud how everyone has managed themselves over the last week and last couple of days.

"It was a great all-round performance and any number of people could have been awarded the man of the match."

Palace had been challenging for automatic promotion to the Premier League, but a run of one win in their last 10 games saw them slip down the table and only secure their play-off place on the final day of the season.

Brighton were the form side heading into the semi-final tie against the Eagles and, after a 0-0 draw in the first leg on Friday night, were seen as the favourites to progress to the final.

"The manager [Ian Holloway] spoke to us about a second chance and correcting something," Jedinak said.

"We got that on Monday and didn't want to let the opportunity slip.

"Full credit to everyone involved because we needed it and it was what got us the result.

"Ever since I have been given the captaincy I have tried to lead by example. But these boys are an easy group to lead as we are all focused.

"I am chuffed to bits about the way everyone handled themselves in what was a pressured environment.

"We didn't let it get to us as much as Brighton did.

"Maybe a lot of people wrote us off but after a performance like that maybe they will have their faith back as well."

Crystal Palace will now face Watford on Monday, 27 May in the play-off final with the riches of the Premier League at stake.

The Australia international midfielder, who moved to Selhurst Park in summer 2011, is relishing a chance to play at Wembley.

"Growing up as a kid I watched FA Cup finals back home in Australia at all hours of the morning," he said.

"This will be special and definitely something to savour. It will be right up there in my career.

"You've got two teams that are probably now at the top of their game again after a little bit of an indifferent period.

"Watford will be full of confidence after all the dramatics [in their semi-final second leg against Leicester], but we can take confidence from our win at Brighton. It should be a cracker.

"We all know the importance of it and what is at stake.

"Whoever can keep their composure and calmness will be the team which prevails. Hopefully we can do that again."

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