Hayden: Deano's Toast Of Selhurst

Brian Deane might be the toast of Crystal Palace after scoring a late equaliser at Wigan to let the Eagles in through the back door, but Hayden Mullins has no intention of passing on the intimate congratulations of his former fans or team mates.

Hayden was at Selhurst Park in the week for a testimonial game that he played briefly in, allowing him to engage in some banter about the play-offs - and possibly meeting in Cardiff at the end of the month.

"I just made an appearance in Steve Kember's testimonial; he was very good to me when I was at Palace," explains Hayden.

"The gaffer played nearly 20 minutes as well - he is a better manager now than he is as a player!

"It was nothing, really, just a little walkabout."

As for Palace squeezing into the playoffs courtesy of Deano, Hayden says:

"They are all very delighted, but at the same time they are saying we may live to regret it if we play them in the final; Andy Johnson, for instance, mentioned that.

"Let's just hope we do get them in the final and beat them.

"All the fans are telling me to give Deano a big kiss but I don't think I will be doing that - but he is very welcome down there!

"The result was just for us on Sunday, trying to keep the run going as we headed for the play-offs - that is what we have done now, and we have to keep going."

Hayden can't wait to play Ipswich and adds:

"All the lads are very confident going into the game and there is nothing to hold us back.

"We know how important these games are and I am looking forward to it.

"They like to play football, as do we, and it is a lovely pitch, so I think it will be a good game.

"We are relishing it, and if we can use the surface better than them we will be okay.

"I haven't got any nerves yet but I might have a few five or 10 minutes before kick-off.

"It is a strange kick-off time and not one I have got used to, but we have done quite well with it.

"You have to get up earlier than normal and it is weird one trying to combine breakfast with a pre-match meal and not eat too much."

Hayden numbers some friends in the Ipswich camp and adds:

"I know a few of them; Jermaine Wright is a good player and they have other good ones like Jim Magilton.

"We all know what they can do if you give them time and space on the ball, but I think we will be looking just to get around them, shut that space off - and we will definitely be going for the win.

"We are all feeling fit and fresh and there is a full squad for the gaffer to pick from so we are going into the games very sharp."

As for the draw at Wigan, he says:

"The first half was what we expected, really; they came at us all guns blazing and took the lead.

"It was exactly what we thought would happen, them going for it, but the second half died down a little bit once they knew the result at Crystal Palace.

"So it was a bad blow for them when Deano scored."

But not, of course, a blow to Deano's popularity in one part of south London...