FORMER Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman has thanked Eagles fans for the warm welcome he received on his return to Selhurst Park this afternoon.

It had been predicted the Scot would be subjected to plenty of hostility from the stands because of the controversial and surprise nature of his exit from the club to take over at Bolton in October.

But aside from the odd boo, the majority of Eagles fans were quite positive and clapped Freedman as he walked to the touchline before the game kicked off.

The Bolton manager said: “I thought it was a fantastic reception.

“I’ve worked for this club for a long, long time and it is very close to my heart.

“I can’t sit here and deny that.

“There were some wonderful times and they can never be taken away from me.

“At the end of the day the fans gave me a fantastic reception and it certainly made me very proud.

“I’m committed to Bolton, I work for Bolton and that is where I will be going back up to tonight and I look forward to next week’s match against Everton in the cup.”