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Pre Season

Benteke: Good Test Against Strong Opponents

5 August 2017

A goal just past the hour by Christian Benteke in the final pre-season friendly against Schalke gave the Eagles a draw in a match that the home side could have gone on and sealed a victory in. 

The striker, speaking post-match, was pleased with the performance of the team against the Bundesliga side.  

“We can be happy with how we played in the draw and obviously the manager has a certain way of how he wants us to play so this match gave us another opportunity to work on that against strong opponents.

“They are a good side with have a history of finishing in a good position in their league each season. We played some good football in this match ourselves and can hopefully take that into the next game."

The Belgian was pleased to see one of his chances find the target as he had been disappointed not to have had more goals to his name in pre-season.

“It was nice to see the goal go in for me finally after being frustrated against Metz last weekend when a couple of my chances hit the woodwork but today I was in the right place and hope to be scoring more throughout the season ahead.”

Frank de Boer has been keen to introduce his new system into the pre-season games and it is one that the striker feels the team is adapting to and one that will see his own game change within the team.

“The way that the manager wants us to play means we have the opportunity to have more of the ball in games and all players will get chances to show the strengths of their game.

“My own game has to change in this system because the ball will be on the ground more as we try and build up from the back, it’s going to be interesting to see it in action because it gives players great chances to do things when they have the ball at their feet while for me I will be looking to score goals for the team.”

During pre-season there are often younger players at the club who are given their chance of first team action and for Palace this one has been no different, with fellow countryman Jason Lokilo getting an opportunity of senior action.

The former Anderlecht academy member began training with the Eagles in the summer of 2015 and signed his first professional contract the following September. 

Christian is not surprised the 18 year old has been given his chance at this level.

“He is a young player with a lot of quality, we are all trying to help him because it is not easy but we want to see his game progress as he continues to have the chance to play in the side.”

The 38 game season of Premier League football is now next on the agenda for the squad with an opening day home match against Huddersfield Town and Benteke feels the pre-season has set them up for action in SE25.

“It is nice to know the season is finally starting and I think we are ready and the good thing is we have our first game at home and we will be trying to begin the season by getting the three points.”

Watch the highlights of the game against Schalke and the post-match interviews. 

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