“So we sat down and had a long conversation about what he wanted to do next and how he was going to achieve it, and he was convinced that coming into our programme with the relationships that he would develop was the best way for him.
“Since those days we’ve kept in close contact as he’s gone on his coaching education pathway, from the B to the A to the Pro License. So it’s been a close relationship for a long time now, but of course now we’re working side by side for the first time. I think we fit well together.”
Vieira’s experience at Manchester City and New York City stand him in good stead for a first Premier League role, according to Roberts.
“What I like about Patrick is that he’s taken the necessary steps to arriving in the Premier League as a coach,” he says. “ He’s done all the hard work away from the lenses, I suppose, when he started with the youth team at Manchester City, developing himself as a coach.
“The challenge of the MLS is a definite challenge for any coach, and he served his time there, and then of course in Ligue 1 with Nice the same. So he’s developed himself along the way to make sure he’s ready for this challenge here at what is a fantastic club: great history, great tradition.
“We’re eager to make sure we help this club for the next few years to prosper.”
Ahead of the first home fixture as Assistant Manager, Roberts is looking forward to experiencing the Selhurst Park atmosphere from the dugout.
“I can’t wait. I’ve been to Selhurst Park on several occasions as Assistant Manager of Wales coming to watch our Welsh players, and I’ve always loved the atmosphere coming in as a neutral.
“But now of course, being part of the club is going to be extra special. And I know speaking to friends and colleagues working at other clubs around the Premier League, it’s probably everyone’s favourite ground to come and visit in terms of atmosphere.
“It’s an authentic club, which has those old fashioned values that is still respected wherever you go in the game.
“My first observation of the first three weeks is that we’ve got an honest ground of players, who are prepared to do everything they possibly can to succeed. So as a starting point it gives us a chance.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do and we’re under no illusions, but we’re really looking forward to doing that because we want to make sure those special fans have got plenty to cheer this year.”