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Nikola Tavares - We Improved A Lot This Game

26 November 2018

Under-23s captain Nikola Tavares reflected upon an impressive 4-0 victory for Palace over Charlton Athletic today, saying his side bounced back well from their late loss against Ipswich Town.

The defender spoke immediately after the result, saying, "[It was a] great result today. Coming off the last result we were disappointed with ourselves, so to come in today and win is great."

His team were much bolstered by the inclusion of several experienced first-team players such as Alexander Sørloth, who scored once and had one assist.

On the experience of captaining alongside more senior players, Tavares explained, "[Playing with first-team players] was really good because they understand their roles and are disciplined, so it makes your job a lot easier.

"I’ve done the last few games as captain now and I’m enjoying it but I’ll just leave it to Shawsy [Richard Shaw] to do whatever he wants."

It hasn't been an easy journey to leading the side, however, as Tavares suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury several months ago. Now, the defender is playing every week for his club and has even been called up for international duty with Croatia Under-20s.

"It was devastating when it happened but since the injury, it’s almost like it hasn’t happened because my rehab was so good," he said. "So thanks to the physios for taking care of me. There are little things you do in the gym to stay on top of it but it’s like it didn’t happen.

"[Playing with Croatia was a] really good experience, we won both games out there and I played well and impressed so that’s all I can do."

The Under-23s host Bristol City in their next game, looking to close the gap further on league-leaders Ipswich.

For all the post-match reaction, head over to Palace TV now. Or, if you're reading in the app, just click 'Palace TV'.

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