Patrick Bamford has admitted he and his new teammates were disappointed to lose to Sporting Lisbonl in the Cape Town Cup final, but he was pleased with the progress made by the squad and felt that the performance against the Lions would breed confidence within the squad.
Despite the 2-0 defeat, Palace matched Sporting for much of the game, and were more than competitive with the Portuguese giants, who had played in last season's Champions League.
"I think whenever you lose a game you're going to be disappointed, but I think that was a good test out there," Bamford said after the match. "They were a good team. The gaffer said himself, that's about as competitive a game as you can find during pre-season."
The 21-year-old, who joined the Eagles on a season-long loan from Chelsea in the days before the tournament, was pleased to finally get some minutes in pre-season, having not had a chance to play first-team football since returning to the Blues from his loan spell with Middlesbrough.
"The 45 the other day [against SuperSport United] were my first minutes in pre-season, so by the end of it I was really tired," he said.
It was his first appearance for Palace, featuring in the second half of the 4-0 semi-final win over South African side SuperSport United. During his 45 minutes, he had a chance to add a fifth for his new club, following a sensational ball through from fellow new boy Yohan Cabaye, but the goalkeeper did well to deny him.
"I had a good chance, which in any other game I would have put away, which is a shame," he reflected. "It would've been nice to score in my first game. I've got to expect those balls from Yohan. He knows what kind of runs people are going to make and he's always one step ahead, which is nice. Hopefully I'll get a few of them this season!"
After the introduction to Palace's first-team set-up on the Friday, Bamford featured against Sporting earlier this evening, coming off the bench again. Despite the calibre of the opposition, he said that he was calm and just hoped to continue his pre-season preparation against the Lions.
"To be honest, I didn't think about it too much. It was just about pre-season for me, getting fitness up," he said. "We wanted to win because it was the final. Even though it's a pre-season tournament, you always want to win. You could see the quality of the opposition, they were good. The first half was a bit tight and we did well, but they might have edged it. In the second half we did a lot better, but then that goal just killed us a little bit. I think we did OK."
Reflecting on the trip to South Africa as a whole, which saw the Eagles play two high level games over the course of a weekend, as well as regular training sessions, Bamford said: "Everyone's probably a lot fitter now, having got more minutes under their belts and I think we can all be confident. Having put in a performance like that against a team like Sporting, when it comes to the start of the Premier League away at Norwich, we can go there with confidence."
When asked about that game, on August 8th at Carrow Road, Bamford revealed that both he and his family were excited about the prospect of him featuring in the English top-flight, for what will be his first appearance in the competition.
"It'll be nice," he said. "It's going to be the first time I'll have played in the Premier League, so I'm excited. My whole family is excited!"