Roberts explains pre-season fitness approach and levels after QPR – News – Crystal Palace

Six Crystal Palace first-team players played over 85 minutes against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon, stepping up their involvement from other recent friendlies.
Minutes were also increased for first-team substitutes, with James McArthur and Will Hughes taking to the field 15 minutes earlier than in midweek against Gillingham.
Assistant manager Osian Roberts explained these increases have been planned across pre-season as the club played its penultimate friendly before returning to the Premier League.
The result, he says, is that the team is feeling fit as the friendlies schedule draws to a close.
Roberts explained: “It’s important that players, as many as possible, got 90 minutes, which they did, and that that intensity was returning to our game at the level we expect. So we’re really pleased with that work ethic and attitude in stepping up that intensity we need going into the last two weeks.
“We’ve built it up progressively from 45 [minutes] to 60 and then into 75s before today… Today I was hoping we could get really good output from the players both physically and in terms of technically and tactically, starting to get into a rhythm. And we got that for the majority of the game.
“We needed to take that next step up in terms of pre-season: we’ve been in for four weeks now. It’s time, getting into that fourth week, that we saw the fruit of the hard work that’s taken place for the last few weeks.”
What. A. Hit. 🤯#CPFC
Other players putting in the hours this pre-season have come from the Academy, with a roster of prospects handed minutes with the first-team this summer.
Against the Hoops, who Palace beat 3-0, Joe Whitworth kept a clean sheet over 90 minutes, aided by Noah Watson, David Boateng and Ryan Bartley.
Roberts said each of the younger players has equipped themselves well, and that the club have introduced them with a considered approach.
“The young players have done really well,” he said. “We’re really pleased with that and it speaks volumes with the work that’s been done by [Academy Director] Gary Issott and his youth department, and Paddy [Mccarthy] and [Darren] Powelly and the boys in terms of making sure that when needed they can make that step up.
“It’s a learning process for them and the only way they can really adapt is when you expose them to this type of environment. Of course, at the same time, it’s not sink or swim. You have to put them in that environment and challenge them but you have to support them at the same time.
“If that challenge and support is there it gives them the best chance possible of responding positively to that, whether that’s on the field or off it in their preparation. We’ve seen significant improvement in how they’ve gone about doing that so that all bodes well for them in the future.”
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