Having been at the club for the past fortnight, Yohan Cabaye is looking forward to spending some quality time with his new teammates on and off the training pitch during the club’s trip to South Africa.
The club record signing has been getting to grips with the Eagles style of play, but admits that he is keen to get to know the Palace squad away from football to help him play to the best of his ability.
With the squad spending plenty of time at close quarters in the hotel between training sessions, the French international is enjoying the chance to get to know all the new faces.
He said: “I’ve enjoyed my time with them, they’re good lads with good spirit, good quality and good mentalities. I’m looking forward to getting to know them better than I do at the moment.
“It’s important to have a tour like this, especially for me because I don’t know much about my teammates. I want to get to know them and this will help. I want to do my best for them which will help me enjoy my football but also my time with them.”
As well as the team bonding, some serious graft has been put in on the training pitches in three countries during this pre-season as Pardew readies his side for the big kick-off next month, and Cabaye is confident that he and his teammates will be in the best condition possible for the opening day.
“I think we’ve been working very well and very hard,” Cabaye said. “We have to do that because this is the time of the year to work hard and I think the team is improving. The target is to be ready against Norwich so we have time to keep going and be fit for that first game.”
The midfielder should be in action in a Palace shirt for the second time against Supersport United this afternoon after making his bow against Union Berlin last weekend. Having got a good 45 minutes of football under his belt, he is keen for more this weekend while helping Palace clinch some silverware on Sunday.
“Last weekend was my first 45 minutes but we lost the game so it wasn’t good,” he added. “We have to make sure that doesn’t happen again. I know things will get better and better and I’m working hard to make that happen so I’m confident for the next few days.
“Things have been good here in South Africa so far, except it’s been a bit cold! The people have been nice and we had a lovely welcome yesterday but it’s a competition and we came here to win the tournament and to keep up the hard work throughout pre-season.”