Frank de Boer praised the effort of his Palace players for claiming third place in the Premier League Asia Trophy despite only having two days rest between their games.
Goals from Luka Milivojevic and Bakary Sako sealed the win for the Eagles against West Bromwich Albion in searing temperatures, and the new manager was pleased that they dug in and got the win that will allow them to leave Hong Kong tomorrow with some happy memories of their week in the region.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, De Boer talked about:
The game: “I think we played better against Liverpool even though we lost because we gave too many opportunities away, but I have seen some very good things that we have improved and everyone can see that.
“For that to go along with a victory is always nice as it gives you confidence but overall I’m satisfied with the energy we’ve put in. To have done that after only two days’ rest, which is a very short period, and give 100% is a very good compliment.”
The competitive nature of the game: “If you want to sell the product of the Premier League and the beauty of the game, the beauty is not those kind of challenges. Of course when it’s a fair challenge it’s no problem, but for example they were really looking for Wilfried Zaha so we cannot accept that. He is one of the most exciting players in the Premier League and I don’t want to think about him being out for a couple of weeks or months.”
The referee’s leniency: “The first challenge on him [Zaha] should have been a yellow card and then the player knows that he cannot do another one, but instead you give him the permit to do another challenge. I have to give Wilf a compliment because he stayed calm, spoke with his feet and made a big step forward.”
Zaha being targeted: “Because of his speed, quality and technique sometimes he will get past two or three players and he is so fast he will get fouled a lot. He knows that he has to accept that as a player and he did that very well against Liverpool and again today. If the referee looks back then he could have had two or three more fouls in his favour.”