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Oliver Glasner shows signs he can make Crystal Palace relegation worries disappear – but Tottenham bigger test than Championship-bound Burnley


During his first Crystal Palace press conference in the build-up to Saturday’s game against Burnley, Oliver Glasner made it clear he was no magician. But the Eagles’ new manager has already shown signs he can make relegation worries quickly vanish.

“I’m not David Copperfield,” said Glasner, 49. “But what I always tell the players is the same for me. You can grow with your challenges. It’s a challenge for me, it’s a challenge for all of us.”

When it comes to tests, Championship-bound Burnley were the ideal first one. The Clarets’ convincing 3-0 defeat at Selhurst Park means they have collected two points from a possible 24.

Josh Brownhill’s sending off in the 35th minute helped the outcome of the game – Jefferson Lerma pounced on a kamikaze pass from James Trafford on the edge of the box which left the Burnley captain with no other option but to pull the Colombian midfielder down.

A professional second-half performance – with Chris Richards, Jordan Ayew and Jean-Philippe Mateta all getting on the scoresheet – saw Glasner celebrate a debut win.

The early changes detailed by the new coaching regime were instantly evident. A short corner routine from the first set-piece saw Lerma collect the ball on the edge of the box and shoot just over the crossbar.

There were more attacking substitutions to capitalise on the man advantage, with Naouirou Ahamada and Matheus Franca introduced in the 66th minute when Palace looked like they were running out of ideas to find a way past Burnley, which will have helped Glasner’s cause to quickly endear himself to fans.

Ahamada’s 24 minutes on the pitch was the longest Premier League appearance he has had this season.  It was a shot from the French midfielder which won the corner for the passage of play that saw Chris Richards open the scoring.

And Franca played a vital role in the following two goals, assisting Ayew and winning a penalty for Mateta to score.

But the same problem will still rear its head for Glasner in terms of the squad depth for the rest of the season. The ex-Eintracht Frankfurt boss had to call upon four academy players to fill his bench, with Kaden Rodney, Luke Plange, David Ozoh and Franco Umeh, who had a loan enquiry in the January window, all involved in the matchday squad.

The Eagles were straight in for a training session on Sunday. Glasner has switched the traditional days off the players were used to under Roy Hodgson.

Palace will not have Marc Guehi available for tomorrow’s Premier League clash at Tottenham Hotspur. The England international will miss the next six to eight weeks after knee surgery.

But Eberechi Eze is set to be introduced in the matchday squad for the first time under Glasner after returning to training last week.

Guehi has been missing since suffering a hyper-extended knee injury in the 4-1 defeat at Brighton at the start of February.

The 23-year-old has made 108 appearances for the Eagles since signing from Chelsea in 2021.

Greenwich-born attacker Eze is returning from a hamstring injury he suffered against Sheffield United.

The Palace boss also confirmed that Will Hughes was expected to return to training this week.

Jairo Riedewald, Michael Olise  and Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, who is expected to be out for a number of weeks with his hamstring injury, are all sidelined.

Glasner went to watch Spurs in their 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Wolves before he officially signed a deal to become the next Palace boss.

The trick now is to pull off a first away league win against the north Londoners since 1997.


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