After seeing his side draw 0-0 with Philadelphia Union in their opening pre-season friendly of the summer, Alan Pardew admitted that despite the lack of goals he was thrilled with the effort put in by his players.
The Palace boss used all his outfield players in the encounter which saw many of them play their first game for nearly two months, and Pardew was happy with their display against a team challenging for top spot in their MLS conference.
In his post-match press conference, he said: “I thought it was a good game, there wasn’t one tackle in it that was unsavoury so it was played in a great spirit. It’s just a shame for the fans there were no goals, because fans love goals.
“We were pushing to try to win it, but in that final moment of getting that shot off we just didn’t show that usual quality, but that’s a process that comes later on in the pre-season for us.
“Our fitness levels looked good - we lacked a little bit of sharpness and cutting edge, but they still needed their keeper who made three fabulous saves in the second half down to his left-hand side. They really
were top drawer.”
While the action on the pitch won’t live long in the memory, the game was notable for the first Eagles appearances for summer signings Andros Townsend and James Tomkins and the displays from some of the younger players aiming to make their mark in Pardew’s setup pleased the gaffer.
On his new faces, he said: “James got stretched twice in his first two moments in the game and he’s just got a little strain so that was a bit of a disappointment, but I don’t think it’s going to keep him out for too long. Andros showed why he is going to be an important player for us. I thought he was the real highlight of the game for our team.
“Sullay Kaikai unfortunately just got a calf strain and had to come off, Hiram [Boatang] played well in the central midfield area and Zeki Fryers is trying to re-establish his career and did well at left-back, so we had some good stuff in there.
“I was really pleased with our attitude in the game. I thought we really, really worked hard tonight and really showed a commitment to try and win.”