Ian Holloway believes the individual who left excrement in the Crystal Palace dressing room before their play-off game did him a favour.
The incident occurred prior to Palace’s semi-final second leg clash with Brighton, which they won 2-0, and Holloway revealed it helped to fire up his players.
“I have to thank that person for doing me the biggest favour. I didn’t have to gee the players up at all, in fact I had to calm them down,” the former Blackpool manager said, before adding that Wilfried Zaha was particularly shocked.
“I’ve never seen a look like that on Wilf’s face,” Holloway continued.
“So how stupid is that person? He got Palace to play like that. It never ceases to amaze me, how low will some people go?”
While the matter undoubtedly caused anger within Palace ranks, Holloway has also been clear to point out that Brighton have handled the incident well.
“You have to act with dignity and I believe Brighton have,” he said.
“It must be difficult, with a stadium like that, to stop a complete lunatic trying to spoil what Brighton do – we all know what a good club Brighton are.
“We chose to keep it to ourselves, I trust they will do it in the right way. Brighton’s a fantastic club – although that didn’t endear them to me.
“It’s a silly, nonsensical thing but it’s not as bad as it used to be when people would throw their seats at the away fans. No-one was hurt, so let’s just treat it that Brighton will deal with it.
“I thank them for the bottle of wine they gave me after I told them about it. Someone got into our dressing room who shouldn’t have done but Brighton responded it to it very well.”
Palace will now face Watford in the Championship play-off final at Wembley on Monday.