This morning we had training and everybody was available. The only one that didn’t start training with the squad yet is Nathan [Ferguson]. But again, he’s doing really well and he should start taking some part of training with the team in the next couple of weeks.
Eberechi Eze update?
He’s been very good. He had a full week with the first team where he did from the start to the end, and is doing really well. So I was really pleased with where he is at the moment. But it’s still too short for him to take part in the game tomorrow.
Will he be back this side of Christmas?
Hopefully, it will be before Christmas.
Is Wilfried Zaha back in the starting lineup tomorrow?
We will make a decision tomorrow. Wilfried had a full training session with the team and he’s doing well. We will make a final decision tomorrow morning.
Small task of beating City tomorrow, only one this season for you so far
It’s a really good challenge to look at it, there is no doubt about the strength of Manchester City’s squad, it’s going to be challenging for us. It’s going to be challenging for any other teams that are going to play there. But we have to be brave, we have to play with a strong personality and we will try to score those goals because against those teams when you create chances, you have to take it.
I think if we manage to do that we will give them problems, but again it’s about personality, it’s about having a really good game plan that we will have to respect. We will go there and give our best and try to perform.
City loss to West Ham a good omen?
I don’t even think about that. This is a good team and in general, they don’t lose two games in a row, this is the other side of seeing it. We know it’s going to be challenging but we will be prepared to make it difficult for them and hopefully, we will take those chances that we will create.
Hopeful of getting the win?
We will give ourselves the best chance to be difficult for them. You look at teams going to the Ethiad and all staying at the back and conceding goals, or all defending higher and conceding goals. This is the strength of this team. But we have to go there and play with personality and we will see what will happen but we don’t want to hide we want to perform and try to perform as best as we can.
You know Pep Guardiola, do you still have a great relationship with him now?
We haven’t spoken for quite a long time but yes he was really helpful. When I was doing my badges and he was at Bayern Munich, he opened the doors for me to look in at the full setup and spent some time with me after training and in the evening and that just shows the kind of person he is. It was a privilege for me to spend that quality time with him.
Hoping to ruin his 200th Premier League game?
We’re going to be there and try to perform well to leave Manchester with something.
What kind of relationship do you have with Conor Gallagher?
The same kind of relationship I have with all the other 25 players. Working with Conor is a joy, really. He is a player who wants to fulfil his potential. He is prepared to learn, to work hard. He brings his energy to the team and I think the staff, myself, we are enjoying working with him.
He said you’re a funny man and take the mickey out of him. What do you like to pick up on him to get those laughs?
I think he should be the one who gives you all this kind of information. I didn’t know I was that funny.
He is s a pleasure to have around?
Yes, he comes in every morning with a big smile on his face and leaving the training ground with a big smile as well. And when he’s on the field he is working hard every single day. He is a player that wants to fulfil his potential. And I think that is a really important tool to have as a player to improve yourself and to keep challenging yourself.
Want him permanently?
It’s really too early to talk about this kind of decision. We are really glad that he decided to come to our football club. And I think we had the tools to attract him to our football club. And I believe that he made the right decision. But what will happen in the future? I think we have to wait a couple of months to talk about that.
What is a successful season for Crystal Palace come May?
I think the success is as a football club, we always want to improve in every aspect of it, how we play we want to improve the goals that we scored, the goals that you concede. We want to finish higher in the table. I think we try to improve every aspect of the game.
And I think if we do that we will win more football matches and then we will finish higher in the table. But I think as a manager, one of my objectives is managing to get the best of every single player that I have under my control. And I think if I manage to do that, the team will play better, and we will win games and then we will finish higher. So there is a process to go through before thinking about what is a success.
Crystal Palace’s new Academy launch – will you be a south London legend because of this?
Having this Academy will allow the football club to be more competitive about bringing young players to our football club. This is an important tool to help young players to develop themselves because coaches, managers – you want a really good training facility that you can work and challenge players to be better players.
I think that this is showing as well as a football club the commitment from the chairman, who is prepared to give everything to players to coaches to improve themselves so we can produce more talented players in our football club.
Five substitutes – opinion?
There are teams that will be advantaged because of the number of players that they have. And you have other teams that I think it’s not going to be a great decision.
I believe that if they are passing that decision it will not be good news for us as a football club. I will be against it if it was a question. Top teams will have too much advantage.
Take us back to when you made your debut for Manchester City as a player and compare that to how it feels now facing them as a Premier League manager?
I really wanted to come back to the Premier League and Roberto Mancini was a manager at the time. For me, it was to go to a place where I could play more games to allow me to have more chances of going to the  World Cup in South Africa.
I was really lucky to be at the right place at the right time. The direction of this football club was going in the right way. At City, I met some really good people and it was a great time there.
How much did the club as a whole help you in the early stages as a manager?
Massively, because when I retired the football club offered me this ambassador role for me to spend time in any department of the football club to understand how the football club is run; for me to try to find my place where I can bring my experience.
I will never thank them enough because that two years allowed me to understand what I wanted to do and make the right decision. It was a really important time for me at that moment.
Do you think these are the types of games where you learn the most about yourself as a manager?
Definitely, you learn in every game that you played, and obviously, playing against City and looking at the strength of the team and looking at the manager and looking at what they’ve been doing in the last couple of years, I will learn a lot about the team, about the players, about myself as a manager.
You want to compete against those kinds of teams, players and manager because you want to see how good you are and how far you can go.
What do you want to see from your players in order to achieve the three points tomorrow?
I will want them to play with the same kind of competitiveness, the same concentration, determination. We played quite well as a team. It is not enough yet but we are going through a process where experience, maturity, will improve the team. That will allow us to win football matches. What we are doing on the field the way we play, is positive. There is some aspect of the game that takes time to develop, one of them is maturity. You need to be strong t some really important moments in the game. At some really important moment in the game. And I think when we managed to get that kind of experience we will be better and we will win football matches.
Chatting to Roy Hodgson yesterday, what about?
We were just talking about his holidays and then he has seen a couple of games and we were just talking about how he has seen the team.
Christian Benteke tweeted about being frustrated he didn’t take more of his in the last match – did you have to speak to him about that? And is it something you want more from the team to be more decisive?
Yeah, I think it’s not just about Christian and I do understand his frustration against Newcastle because he created those chances and he knows how to score goals he’s been doing it all his career. I think it is the confidence that the majority of our forward players need to find and, and that first has to come from me and from for my staff as well. But I don’t have any doubt that we will score these chances and we will score those goals.
It’s about keeping believing in ourselves, keep believing in the way we want to play the game. And with more confidence and with more experience – I’m talking about the team experience – we will turn things around and win football matches. Because, at the end of the day, creating those chances is important as well. And now we just have to score those goals. And this is one of the most difficult things to do in our game.
How would you get the message across to the players that Man City are beatable, and they do have weaknesses?
There is not much to say really to the players because, you know, they watch games and they know City Liverpool, Chelsea, better than I do. So this is about finding the right game organisation to allow our players to express themselves.
And if we are thinking about going to this kind of field and just wanted to defend it, we’ll get a time where they will score goals because of the quality that they have. We have to be brave, we have to try to play our game and make it as difficult as we can for them. But we have to play with personality, I want the players to take responsibility on the field and to express themselves because we have the talent to to to make it difficult for them.
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