Former Bluebird targets play-off spot with Eagles

Wimbledon Guardian: Darcy Blake has a shot on goal against Cardiff on Saturday Darcy Blake has a shot on goal against Cardiff on Saturday

CRYSTAL Palace new boy Darcy Blake is targeting a play-off finish after getting one over on his former team-mates as the Eagles ran out 3-2 winners against Cardiff after a stunning second half comeback.

The Eagles looked dead and buried after the Bluebirds raced into a 2-0 lead inside quarter of an hour.

But it was a different story after the break as Glenn Murray grabbed a hat-trick to ensure Palace got a bit of revenge against the side who denied them a dream Wembley League Cup final appearance last year in a heartbreaking penalty shootout semi-final win.

Blake started the second leg of the semi for Cardiff but he changed allegiances last month by joining Palace and after a tricky start to the campaign for the Eagles, the 23-year-old believes they can go on to reach the top six after their recent upturn in fortunes.

He said: “I don’t see why we shouldn’t be looking towards the play-offs, especially if us defenders keep clean sheets at the back because you have seen today what some of our forward players can do.

“With the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Yannick Bolasie and Glenn Murray, who scored a hat-trick today, we’ve got every chance of getting up there.”

Blake, who made 100 league appearances for his boyhood club, fell out of favour when Malky Mackay took charge of the Bluebirds last summer and admits while it was strange to be lining up against his former club, he was happy to be back playing.

He explained: “I enjoyed playing today, it’s nice to play.

“It was a bit strange, really.

“I saw some of the boys at the hotel last night but I was here to do a job and that’s what I did.

“We didn’t start off too well conceding the two goals but I think we deserved it in the end thanks to the performances of some of our forward players, who I think were tremendous today.”

The Welsh international has made an instant impact in a Palace shirt which is something Blake himself puts down to the welcome he has received thus far.

He explained: “There’s a good set of boys here and I happen to know a few from the international stage as well, which helps.

“Everyone has welcomed me from the fans on Twitter to the boys themselves.”

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