Luka Milivojevic is pleased to look back on an unbeaten April as he goes into the final three matches but is keen that all focus is on getting the points needed to retain top flight status with Saturday's home game against Leicester City is next on the agenda.
He is a firm believer of how important confidence is within the squad and that comes with results, last Saturday’s match against Watford was the third since the run of games against top six sides and the Palace captain is pleased with how much the players have taken from those tough encounters as they face this final run in of the season.
“We had four or five games in a row against big teams where we should have taken points for sure but after that we are unbeaten and that is a good run for us and I am really looking forward to the next three games.
“The biggest part is the confidence and in this moment we have that for sure and over the season we haven’t many moments like we are having now and are very close to staying in the league.”
Last Saturday the main talking point from the match at Watford was a second half call for a penalty but The Eagles did have other chances and after a disappointing first half the Serbian international believes it was a game where the opportunity of taking three points was missed out on.
“If you look at the game over 90 minutes you can say that both teams deserved points, first half we didn’t start very well in the game but the second was totally different. The first half they should have scored some goals but in the second half we hit the crossbar, the post and one more chance plus that penalty shout on Wilfried. In the end you could say we maybe deserved to win.“
After seven games earlier in the season the opportunity of going into the penultimate home game with an opportunity to still keep their Premier League status is one that the Palace midfielder would have taken and he is a big admirer of the impact that Roy Hodgson has had on turning the season around.
Milivojevic has been impressed with the effect that the structured schedule of work carried out on the training ground has on the team’s performance in the top flight and a perfect example of that was the recent home victory against Brighton.
“During a normal week we have four days where we work and Tuesday & Thursday are the days when we do our offensive and defensive work and the most important thing is that every player know their job and what to do on the field.
“The manager is involved in every session and his passion is amazing and he transfers that to us. In training he is quick to stop the sessions and if we need to repeat something ten times then we will do that and it’s great to have him here as our manager.
“All three goals we scored against Brighton were ones that we worked on in training, every week we work on things that we then try to transfer into the game.”
This weekend attention turns to the visit of Leicester and the side will be looking to do the double over The Foxes having won 3-0 on the road in December.
“Three games left with two games at home and one away and we are really looking forward to taking as many points as we can do.
“They are very quick up front and will look to play on the counter attack and we played a very good game against them and even though it is hard to repeat but if we can win it would be perfect but we can expect a really tough game because they are a really strong team,” reflected Milivojevic as he knows there will be no easy games remaining even though two of the final of the final three are against sides at the bottom of the table.
“West Brom beat Manchester United at Old Trafford and took a point off Liverpool and they are the worst team in the league but that’s the Premier League and they have a new manager and he doesn’t want to just drop the points and they will do everything they can to try and beat us and that like our other remaining games it won’t be easy.”
As well as confidence a vital ingredient of this season, according to Luka, has been the character that the squad have shown to get to six points off the relegation places but he is quick to point out that they are not over the line yet.
“We know we are not there yet and want to take some points from the final few games and that is what we will do and in the end I hope we will celebrate together for staying in the league.
“We have a very good squad but when you start the season with seven defeats and no goals the confidence is low, it becomes very difficult after that but you have to start from somewhere and our first win against Chelsea which we had to carry on to take confidence and we totally changed our season. At the end we will say If you look at our games we will say we have had very bad moments, very good moments but in the end we have many good characters in our squad and maybe that is the main reason why we are here now.”
Watch the full interview with Luka now or if you are viewing on the App go to Palace TV along the bottom menu.