Palace's Wilbraham warns against Premier League hype
Aaron Wilbraham has told his Crystal Palace team-mates to forget the razzmatazz that surrounds the Premier League.
The Eagles are getting used to life in England's top tier and the increased media exposure that comes with it having begun their campaign with a 1-0 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
And 33-year-old Wilbraham, who played 11 times in the Premier League for Norwich, has advised his younger colleagues to remember that beneath the extra cameras and column inches lies a simple football match.
"The Premier League is built up by the television but the main thing to remember is it is still just another game of football - it is still 11 v 11," he said.
"We all got briefed with what to expect media wise in pre-season and it is just something we have to deal with.
"You don't need to think too much about the other team you are playing either.
"The top five teams going for the Champions League places are a cut above but even then if you keep it tight at the back you will always get a few chances against them.
"The main thing for us is that we keep our togetherness as a team as that saw us through last season. A lot of the other teams do not have that."
Wilbraham was a surprise inclusion in Palace's starting XI against Spurs, with Marouane Chamakh only on the bench after being plagued by illness in the run up to the game.
And the former MK Dons striker is hopeful he will get more chances up top.
"I was playing upfront on my own, trying to hold the ball up for the team and I think I did that well at times," he added.
"I have played that lone striker role before and the manager knows I can hold the ball up - he knows that when I come in I will always do the best I can.
"None of the players think losing 1-0 is a good result. I can understand why others would think that because people expected Tottenham to beat us by more but we don't want to get beat at all and we need to pick up as many points as we can.
"I think Tottenham came expecting to beat us and they were shocked we gave them such a close game."
Wilbraham has a team in the Premier League's fantasy league this season and it was noted before the match that he had dropped himself and team-mates Jonny Williams and Danny Gabbidon to the bench ahead of the first round of fixtures.
"I was asked to set it up by the club and did that early in the week," said Wilbraham, who started Ricky Lambert and Robin van Persie up front ahead of himself.
"I wasn't in the team to start with so I wasn't dropped, but I think I am top of the programme league so it looks like I made the right decision."
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