Having seen his Palace first-team squad in match action for the first-time, Frank de Boer was pleased with the display from his players despite the 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.
Goals from Dominic Solanke and Divock Origi in the second half sent the Reds into the final of the Premier League Asia Trophy, but a solid first half from De Boer’s Eagles pleased the new boss, and he is glad his new 3-4-3 formation showed early signs of promise.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, he talked about:
What he learnt from the game: “I think we learned that we were very disciplined today; that is our main goal as well as to play as a team and that starting point for me is very important. Of course we have to improve still, a lot, and work on details but first of we had to play as a team and I saw that today.
“We played against a very good opponent that everybody knows, and it was our first real game – we played internal games but this was a game played under quite hard circumstances with a new system. Only Ruben Loftus-Cheek played that system at Chelsea so we have to learn and adapt to it, and we’re not even had three weeks on it, so from my point of view it was a good performance.”
Youngsters playing: “I saw a team that wants to play the role that we want them to. We had our small chances but they freshened their team up in the second half, and they are all fantastic players. We had six players who made their debut today so that is the difference between a club like Liverpool and Crystal Palace. I’m very satisfied.”
Marko Drujic’s tackle on Wilfried Zaha: “It was not a nice challenge, I don’t know who it was but it was not appropriate as it could have injured one of our most important players. He’s creative and he played a fantastic first half so you don’t want to lose this kind of player, so I’m happy he’s OK.”
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: “Ruben knows the system and he is a very young lad so he can improve and learn a lot still. I think it’s a quality injection for the squad, and the position he played today was a sitting midfielder but he can also play offensive midfield, so we can use him in a lot of situations. It’s a long season and he has to play himself into the team, but I think he has the quality to do that.”
Where Loftus-Cheek will play: “It depends what we need, as a manager you always look at what is best for the team. Sometimes it is not always about a player playing in his best position. He played a lot of times as an offensive midfielder but with his physical abilities, his power, speed and technique, he could also play as a defensive midfielder. I saw some good challenges from him in the midfield.”