Having scored and kept a clean sheet playing in an alien position in the Palace defence, Luka Milivojevic was delighted with his evening’s work against West Bromwich Albion.
The Serbian bent in a wonderful free-kick after just 11 minutes to open the scoring, and managed to shut out the Albion attack as part of Frank de Boer’s three-man defence. Whilst he was content with his defensive role, it is one he hopes he doesn’t have to reprise too many more times during his Palace career!
Speaking post-match, he said: “I’m happy that I scored a free-kick but first of all I am happy because we won in the end and the team played well, so we are travelling back home with smiles.
“He [De Boer] tried me there when we played a game against each other and it was a position that I was playing for the first time in my life. I don’t feel very comfortable there but I am there for the team and I will try and give my best for them, but my position is as a midfielder. I think I did OK but hopefully in the future I will play as a midfielder!”
The game brought the curtain down on the Eagles’ time in the Far East, and they fly back to London on Sunday buoyed by their third-place finish in the Premier League Asia Trophy but looking forward to be reunited with their families, as well as the more moderate temperatures and regular sleeping patterns, which Milivojevic in particular has struggled with over the past week.
Looking back on the tour, he said: “It’s good for our confidence first of all, but it’s always nice when you have trip like this to finish with a win in the end. We are happy because we will travel back tomorrow and get to see our families and that is very important for every player.
“I have enjoyed it as it is my first time here but I found it very difficult to adapt to the weather and the time difference. We have been here now for six days and I think I’ve only slept well for two nights – the other nights I maybe slept only a few hours.
“It’s not only me, the other players have too and the weather hasn’t been too good either but we have had good preparations here and it has been a success.”