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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
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By ESPN Staff

Freedman: 'I can cope with Kuqi challenge'

Crystal Palace striker Dougie Freedman insists he has the mental fortitude to cope with the challenge of recent arrival Shefki Kuqi.

Freedman is used to watching games from the bench over the past four years, but has seen off the likes of Neil Shipperley, Dele Adebola, Ade Akinbiyi and Jon Macken.

The Eagles' acquisition of Kuqi in a £2.5million transfer has put added pressure on Freedman, but he says he is up for the challenge.

He said: 'After being here a while it's true I have seen a few come and go. So when the gaffer signs a new striker I now have that mental toughness to accept it, whereas perhaps earlier in my career I may not have.

'The way I look at it now is that competition for places is healthy. It keeps you motivated to do your best and win that place.

'And the arrival of Shefki Kuqi shows Palace are still ambitious and serious about promotion. I would rather be at an ambitious club than one that is happy to just tread water,' he told the Croydon Advertiser