June 15, 2024

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Glasner Reflects on Start at Palace and the Challenge Ahead

3 min read

Oliver Glasner believes Crystal Palace’s newfound confidence has driven their strong finish to the 2023/24 season. However, he insists they must aim to maintain this form throughout the entire campaign next season.

The Eagles have triumphed in five of their last six matches, securing wins against European contenders such as Liverpool, West Ham, Newcastle, and Manchester United, while scoring 16 goals to achieve their highest-scoring Premier League season ever.

This impressive end to the season stands in stark contrast to earlier challenges. Should Palace win against Aston Villa at Selhurst Park and other results go their way, they could achieve a top-ten finish with a joint club-record Premier League points tally (49 if they win on Sunday).

Speaking in his final pre-match press conference of the season, Glasner commented on the team’s transformation: “The biggest change [since I arrived], I think, is the belief that we are able to win every game. We saw from the first second that the players believed it, and this belief has grown over the last few months. You have to work on it, talk about it, encourage them, support them…”

Despite a lack of early results, Glasner noted that the players displayed quality moments in every game: “The players have the quality when they work hard, when they work as a team together, that it’s possible. This is what we showed them, this is what we did in training. And then the players got the results, then they got the confidence. And, of course, when you win at Anfield, this was maybe a turning point.”

Glasner emphasized that such wins helped solidify the team’s belief in their abilities: “The players could say: ‘yeah, if we do it together, if we do it 100% consequently, if we do it over the whole entire time of the game, we are able to win against every team’. Then they showed it, and then you see: ‘ah, yes, it’s true’ – and the spiral upwards.”

As the off-season approaches, Glasner outlined the challenges ahead: “I’m always careful. We’ve now had 12 games since we are here. But many teams can have a period of 10, 12 games where they perform really well. The challenge is to do it for 38 games in the Premier League, to show it in every single game in the FA Cup, in the Carabao Cup – to show it not just for three months, but to show it for nine or ten months.”

Looking forward, Glasner expressed confidence in his squad: “There’s a long off-season now, and the players have a program so that they come back in very good shape. Then we have a long pre-season with a tour to the USA, preparing for a very long Premier League season. It’s also my first season with no winter break, and so it’s finding the right timing for working hard, training hard, but also ensuring the players have time for recovery, both physically and mentally.”

He concluded with a focus on continuous improvement: “We want to keep the positive things from this period, but I spoke to some players today: I see many things we still can improve. And this is what we’ll focus on, because then we know when we improve this, we will get better results, we will get better points, and we will get a better ranking at the end of the season. It doesn’t make any sense to talk about the ranking, and losing the focus on what you need for this.”

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