Palace are flying high after midweek Carling Cup win

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CRYSTAL Palace are flying high ahead of tomorrow’s visit to the Keepmoat Stadim.

The Eagles booked their place in the fourth round of the Carling Cup - their best run in the competition for a number of years - with a 2-1 win over Middlesbrough at Selhurst Park in midweek.

It avenged a 1-0 home defeat by Boro in the league at the weekend.

The defeat saw Palace, who were holding down a top-six spot earlier in the season, after winning three of their first four games, down to 10th.

But it is still a lot better than they ended last season when they were battling against relegation along with Rovers at the death.

Manager Dougie Freedman, who took over last season, has put together a side boasting a nice blend of youth and experience.

Several of his younger players have attracted the attention of bigger clubs including attacking midfielder Wilfried Zaha.

Zaha has pace to burn but there was a lack of an end product at times - something he’s worked hard on - last season.

As well as scoring three goals this season - one of whch was in Tuesday’s game - he has also had a hand in several other goals.

Another promising youngster, though not likely to start tomorrow, is 17-year-old Wales Under-21 international Jon Williams, who signed a three and a half year deal this week.

“They’ve made some good signings and Dougie Freedman has put his mark on the team with the type of players he’s signed and the type of football they play,” said Rovers No 2 Richard O’Kelly. “It will be a tough test.”

Added O’Kelly, who rates the likes of Zaha, Sean Scannell, Darren Ambrose, Jermaine Easter and Pat McCarthy: “They’ve got a mixture of youth and experience and they look a good footballing side.”