It’s the second week of pre-season and the Eagles are now in Malmö as they look to raise their fitness levels ahead of the Premier League season beginning in exactly one month’s time.
One player who is eager to hit the ground running is Christian Benteke and he spoke to Palace TV after the squad’s second day of training in Sweden.
“It’s nice to be here, especially for myself as it’s the first time I’ve been to Sweden,” he said.
The towering striker had a shorter break than other players, and after his summer holiday he headed to Belgium to work on his fitness programme given to him by the club to prepare for the new season.
“In the first week, it’s a lot of work on the treadmill and some running outside as well. Some players have to play some international games and we have to adapt the programme.”
Benteke was able to start his fitness work early as he missed out on making Belgium’s 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia but he is looking to use that disappointment to his advantage.
“The first game was tough (to watch) because if I had a good season I was going to be there. Then after that, it was a motivation because now it’s up to me if I score goals then I will be there.
“The first season I came (to Palace) I wasn’t involved that much but I was scoring goals. Last season I was more involved but I didn’t score that much. So, it was a mix of feelings for me, I was part of the game but I couldn’t score. This year I am really looking forward to this season because I have prepared myself to be good and to really, be me. I have got myself ready physically and mentally.
The Eagles take on Helsingør on Thursday (which will be available for Palace fans to watch exclusively live on the club’s app) and the forward is ready to hit the ground running.
“I am getting ready to adapt my type of play with how the manager wants us to play. If we do it well then, we can be a big threat, we showed that last season.
“It will be our first game but as a striker I am looking to score. Especially for me, the season starts now.”
To hear Christian’s thoughts about the first pre-season game on Thursday, what the players have been doing to relax and his thoughts on the World Cup head to Palace TV (on eagles.cpfc.co.uk or on the club’s official app) for the rest of this interview with the Palace front man.