Tyrick Mitchell ‘can’t wait’ to see Crystal Palace fans return to Selhurst Park

·3 min read

Tyrick Mitchell is excited to finally play in front of the Crystal Palace fans on Wednesday and admitted their absence was the only downside to his winning goal last weekend.

The left-back opened his account for the Eagles in the 84th minute of Sunday’s 3-2 win over Aston Villa, which is set to be their last fixture behind closed doors.

Up to 6,500 supporters will be present inside Selhurst Park for the midweek visit of Arsenal and it will be the first time the 21-year-old has played with the Palace faithful in attendance.

“No fans here was the only downside but I know they would have been happy at home so that makes me smile at least,” Mitchell said following his winner.

“I can’t wait to finally meet the fans in the stadium. It will be an amazing moment for myself personally and I hope they can help us finish the season strongly.”

If a full house had been present on Sunday, you can only imagine how loud the roar would have been when academy graduate Mitchell bundled home in front of an empty Homesdale Road Stand.

The celebrations of the Palace players and staff off the pitch and the embrace of virtually all of his team-mates on it helped make up for the absence of a crowd.

Mitchell, who made his professional debut away to Leicester last July during Project Restart, was able to divert Ebere Eze’s shot-cum-cross in via his shoulder with six minutes left against Aston Villa to complete a fine turnaround for Roy Hodgson’s side.

It added to earlier efforts from Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha and made the defender the unlikely hero after not even being a regular goalscorer in his youth-team days.

He added: “I’m not really one to get on the scoresheet so this moment is amazing for me and I just hope to build on it and gain more confidence.

“I would have actually rather strike it because that way I know where it would go, but this one it was about any way it went in. I was just buzzing and it is an amazing moment for myself and my family.”

Palace’s second victory in three games was the first time in 33 attempts they had come from behind at half-time to win in the Premier League.

A positive end to the first half was key according to Mitchell, who reflected on the message put across by Hodgson and assistant Ray Lewington during the interval.

“They just told us to be brave and to know we could win if we tightened up and played like we did for the last 15 minutes of the first half,” the Londoner revealed.

“We went into the second half knowing that if we continued to build on it, we could get a victory or at least a draw.”

Mitchell is expected to make his 23rd appearance for Palace on Wednesday and Arsenal’s own young talent Bukayo Saka could be his direct opponent again.

After going up against Adama Traore, Lucas Moura, James Rodriguez, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Bernardo Silva to name a few during the past 12 months, the one-time Brentford trainee revealed the perfect warm-up for such challenges.

“There is loads of attacking quality in our squad so every day it is hard for me and when I go onto the pitch, I wouldn’t say it is easier but I am better prepared for it,” Mitchell said ahead of Arsenal’s trip across London.

“We literally just want to get as many points as we can to finish off the season strong because how you finish is normally how you start the next one so we want to end as well as we can.”