Palace boss Vieira admits his squad ‘need time’ to gel this season


Home Crystal Palace Palace boss Vieira admits his squad ‘need time’ to gel this season

New Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has admitted his new-look squad will need time to gel but insisted they are ambitious ahead of the start of this season, which begins away to Chelsea on Saturday.

Palace will be missing a number of key players for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

Eberechi Eze and Nathan Ferguson (both Achilles) are long-term absentees while loan signing Conor Gallagher is ineligible to face his parent club.

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Captain Luka Milivojevic will also be absent due to “personal reasons” and Michael Olise, a summer addition from Reading, is out with a back injury.

Vieira, who won three Premier League titles as a player at Arsenal, is looking forward to starting his managerial career in the division, adding: “It is something I always wanted to do, it will be case tomorrow, so I am really excited to manage in the Premier League.”

He added: “Of course the players need time and as a manager to put my ideas in place it may take longer but we are ambitious and want to compete.

“We are in a positive way the fact we started pre-season in a good way, with the way we played those games and the wins, it give us confidence but we know it will be equally challenging.”

On Chelsea: “It will be challenging. They won the Champions League and Super Cup. But the Premier League is challenging, competitive.

“We have self-confidence as a club, as a team and that is going to give ourselves the best chance to go there and compete.”

Palace have a new centre-back partnership this season after the departures of Gary Cahill and Scott Dann.

Joachim Anderson was brought in from Lyon and youngster Marc Guehi joined from Chelsea for a combined fee of around £35million.

When asked if starting with a new partnership of relatively inexperienced players was a concern: “Not really. We made new signings at the back. They are young, yes, but they are talented. I believe they have what it takes to play in the Premier League,” he said.

More signings could be imminent at Selhurst Park according to Vieira: “We are maybe a little light on numbers. Working hard to improve the squad until the window. We are looking to bring in players.

“We are a little short up front and in midfield. It would be good to reinforce those positions.

“Nothing will change. We will try to improve the squad, but nothing will be crazy.”

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