Crystal Palace have finished their pre-season tour in Switzerland, which ran from Saturday-Saturday and saw the Eagles clash with FC Luzern and BSC Young Boys respectively.
Today, Palace lost to the latter of these teams 2-0 in the deciding game of the annual Uhrencup, but manager Roy Hodgson didn’t let the result affect his opinion on the overall success of the pre-season trip.
“The main purpose of the visit was really the training facilities and the accommodation and to have two matches which were going to really test us out,” he said. “It’s been a perfect training camp in that respect.
“We’ve had two very tough matches, much tougher than we would normally play after only one week’s training. But we knew that it was going to be tough after just one week so we were ready for that. Also the fact that we had such good training facilities, the hotel was so good, the players liked the town where we were staying.
“So all in all it’s been a good week’s work and I’m not at all disappointed here today. I was a bit after the first half but the second half has really cheered me up because I thought we played really well.”
Palace’s opponents today were superiorly prepared, having spent nearly the last month in pre-season training. It meant the Eagles were always going to face an uphill battle, especially with the Bern-based club having won two Swiss Super League titles in a row and notching up a 5-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt earlier in the week.
Hodgson assessed the difficult of facing Young Boys today and explained how he felt his side had fared, saying: “I thought particularly in the first half it showed that they had been training for four weeks and they’ve already played quite a lot of important games in their friendly matches. They’ve played a lot of top Bundesliga teams but I thought we kept to it very well and I thought that second half performance was really very good.
“To be honest in the second half I thought we were arguably the better team. They didn’t create that many chances but unfortunately we shot ourselves in the foot with a major error after five or six minutes. So of course when you start games like this and you’re 1-0 down it’s always going to be hard. It was an excellent work out for the boys. We worked really hard and I’m actually impressed by the level of fitness we showed today after only two weeks in training.”
2-0 down entering half time, the boys from SE25 came out far better in the second half and looked like threats to open their scoring account and perhaps pull of an impressive comeback.
Hodgson explained the tactical switch which allowed Palace their foothold on the clash: “We changed the system, didn’t we? We started with the two lads up front. They couldn’t get hold of the ball and we were getting overrun in midfield. I think bringing Jeff Schlupp into more of a No.10 position if you like in between the midfield and the forwards, we got on the ball a little bit better.
“Max Meyer came on the left hand side and suddenly got us on the ball a little bit more. Our passing was a lot better and our possession play was a lot better.”
You can watch Hodgson’s interview alongside Jeffrey Schlupp and Joel Ward by keeping an eye on Palace TV. There will also be full highlights of the clash for free later this evening. Just click here or ‘Palace TV’ in the official Palace app!