Crystal Palace missed ‘leader’ Patrick Vieira – South London News

Crystal Palace assistant manager Osian Roberts believes the South Londoners missed their “leader” Patrick Vieira in the 3-0 defeat to Spurs on Boxing Day.

Roberts took charge of the Eagles for the first time after Vieira tested positive for Covid-19 late on Saturday evening.

Goals from Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Lucas Moura saw Spurs breeze past a Palace side that was missing several key faces, including Michael Olise, Christian Benteke, Vicente Guaita, Luka Milivojevic and Eberechi Eze.

Speaking on when the club found out they would be without the former Arsenal captain for the trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Roberts said: ”Yesterday evening the results came through.

“The good thing about the way we prepare is we do that as a collective – the whole coaching staff work very closely together.

“It’s true to say everything ran like normal, but Patrick not being there as our leader being there on the day was something we will miss as we need him there.

“We got on with it the best we could, we didn’t want to make any excuses, and we started well.

“We had a communication strategy for the game. I wasn’t directly in contact with him, but the staff were. There was a good comms strategy to make sure we were always in contact.”

When asked if it was a proud moment for him to be managing Crystal Palace for the first time, Roberts added: “I am proud to be working for Crystal Palace – it’s a wonderful club, and I have enjoyed every minute since I have been here.

“But, I never thought for one minute that it would happen in my situation.

“Today was all about the team, and as a coaching staff collectively working well together to make sure we could do everything we can, which was to try and make sure that the players didn’t feel too much of a factor that the boss isn’t here.

“Nothing to do with me if I am honest, but I am always proud to be working for such a wonderful club.”

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