One player he was able to pull out in particular was Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, who made his debut against former club Chelsea.
Patrick Vieira confirmed that he intends to continue using the Academy prospects who made his squad today, saying “giving opportunity to young players is part of the DNA of the football club.”
Discussing the 18-year-old, Vieira said: “He’s a kid who spent pre-season with us and I was really pleased with what he’s been doing on the field. He’s a really lovely kid and when he came on at 3-0 I just wanted him to get on the ball.
“He’s a good dribbler, can score goals as well so I wanted him to be a bit more high on the field, but he spent most of the time behind the ball defending. The quality of Chelsea made it really difficult for us to get on the ball. He’s a young, talented player and we have to work with him to try to help him.”
Another player the manager found praise for was James McArthur, who wore the captain’s armband in Luka Milivojevic’s absence. He said: “He’s a player that is working really hard. His work ethic is what I want and what I want from every single player. He’s a really positive example for all the players.
“He’s somebody who when on the field is thinking about the team before himself. He’s a leader and for me it was something that was obvious with not having Luka: Macca would be our vice captain.”
Overall, though, Vieira did not try to sugar-coat Palace’s loss to the Blues, saying: “It was a tough start for us but we have to play them… they will be in the top three teams that can win the Premier League.”
He added insight into his flexible approach, discussing the moment he switched to a back three with two substitutions:
“I’ve been working with the players for six weeks now and we changed a couple of systems, working on defensive systems so players can adapt. When Joachim came on and Christian that gave us more experience on the field and we saw the difference when those two came on the pitch.”