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Ollie Pleased With Portugal Progress

12 July 2013

Palace manager Ian Holloway is delighted with the progress his squad has made during their pre-season trip to Portugal. 

The players have spent a week training in Faro under the watchful eye of the gaffer and his coaching staff, in preparation for the club’s first Premier League season in eight years. 

A varied schedule since touching down in the Algarve on Monday has seen Ollie’s men sharpening up their ball work and fitness levels, in temperatures up to 30 degrees. 

Ahead of their return to south London tonight, Holloway revealed that he has also shown his side videos of “some of the best teams in the world” as he continues to implement his attacking style of play at Selhurst Park.

Speaking to at the team’s base in Faro, Holloway said: “It’s been very pleasing. Very nice surroundings, the lads have worked really hard and obviously you have them 24 hours a day so you can get some work into them. 

“The great thing about it is we’ve brought some young lads. We are famous for our academy, quite rightly so, and it’s good to bring them over and get them to see how the first team train. 

“We’ve hardly had a break, so the lads look really good, really sharp, and we are looking forward to the new season.

“It’s always good to get extra percentages out of them and obviously in the heat, when there’s hardly any oxygen in the air, you make them work that little bit harder. 

“We’ve done it professionally and the boys have responded really well and I’m very pleased. I’m looking forward now to getting back home and getting on the grass there.

“Next year our fans will be so excited by the fixture list but the reality is we’ve got to try and get some points off these people, not just go along and look at them, we’ve got to try and beat them, and that’s what this week has all been about.”

New signings Dwight Gayle and Jerome Thomas are among the party here in Faro, and Holloway has been pleased with their application during the training camp as he targets more additions to the squad. 

“They’ve been excellent,” he said. “This will help them get to know people, eating together, training together, staying together. It’s only been five or six days, but that’s been important for me – that camaraderie and getting some decent training under their belt. 

“So many players want to come here, they want to come to this level, they want to come to London. 

“We’ll try and have a much stronger squad because we’ll need it to compete with these clubs that have all sorts of money and resources.

“People like Jerome and Gayley typify what Palace are all about really, with young people and hungry people. Hopefully our fans will get to love them and sing songs about them.”

For more exclusive coverage from behind the scenes at the Eagles’ Portuguese training camp, sign up or log in to Palace Player HERE.

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