On the occasion of his first appearance at Selhurst Park, Frank de Boer was pleased that his Palace team looked fit and sharp in their 1-1 draw with Schalke 04, just seven days away from the new Premier League campaign.
After suffering the setback of seeing Pablo Insua open the scoring just before half-time, Christian Benteke’s first goal of pre-season levelled the scores, meaning that Palace only tasted defeat once in their five pre-season fixtures, giving them plenty of momentum heading into the opener against Huddersfield Town next week.
After watching a dress rehearsal for that game, De Boer was happy with the draw against the Germans, saying: “I was quite pleased with the performance – in the first half we could have done better pressing forward and I think you saw the difference in the second half when we did that, and from that we created a lot more chances.
“We dominated more of the second half and we could have won the game, but we know that the physical aspect is very important and the Germans are always very fit, but I think that we looked fitter. I am pleased with how they dealt with how we want to play, and now I’m looking forward to next week.
“Schalke are a team that want to be back in Europe and be in the top five of the league again and they have bought a lot of good players, so when you consider that we can be very satisfied today.”
De Boer handed teenage winger Jason Lokilo a second start in a row after he played against Metz, and the Dutchman has been pleased with what he has seen from the youngster who he admits he didn’t know anything about before he arrived at Palace.
“I didn’t know him when I came in as he was an under-23 player but Mark Bright mentioned that he is one of the talented players in that group,” De Boer said. “We were a man or two short in training so we picked him to participate in them and he made a great impression of his qualities, and that’s why he deserved to play today.
“Jason had a bit of tension playing at Selhurst Park for the first time so he had cramp, and Jairo got through 80 minutes so overall they [the Palace squad] looked very fit and ready to start the season.”