Crystal Palace Under-23s manager Richard Shaw led his side to a 4-0 victory over south London rivals Charlton Athletic today, fielding a lineup that included several first-team players.
His team was strengthened by the likes of Alexander Sørloth, who scored and assisted for the Eagles. Speaking on the effect of playing younger players alongside seasoned, more experienced footballers, Shaw explained just how beneficial it can be.
"It affects the players that play in a really good way," he said. "They need to understand the tempo of the game, the importance of keeping possession and the importance of defending. When you’re playing with guys like Alexander Sørloth, Jaïro Riedewald and Pape Souare, they’re all international players so for our boys to learn from them is really good.
"The first-team players with us today were an absolute credit. They were excellent."
One younger player who stood out however was Nikola Tavares, the side's captain. Having only recently returned from a lengthy injury, the Croatian defender received high praise from his manager.
"[Nikola Tavares] has done really well and I have to thank the physios for everything they’ve done for him: he’s come back in really good shape, really good shape. The fact he played for Croatia Under-20s, he was a real rock, a real steady influence.
"He was very good today but I was very pleased with all of the youngsters. You could sense it with the side’s atmosphere that it was going to be a very good day."
Shaw was right, and Palace dominated the game throughout, deserving their four goals and three points.
Though, he admitted, "It was a good win but it wasn’t as comfortable as the score suggests. Charlton were good, I thought they were aggressive out of possession, I thought they broke through us at times but the back four stood up to it. I thought we were always a threat going forward and all four goals we took well.
"It was a good football match with two good sides. I’ll take 4-0 after we got beaten quite heavily last week but that’s under-23s football."
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