EPL

I’m no magician – Oliver Glasner warns Crystal Palace not to expect miracles

By Sports Desk February 23, 2024

New Crystal Palace boss Oliver Glasner warned he was “no magician” as he prepares for his first game in charge of the relegation-threatened side.

While there will no doubt be changes coming at Selhurst Park, the Austrian’s message in his first press conference at times echoed his predecessor Roy Hodgson who, in the weeks leading up to his departure last Thursday, liked to remind critics that he did not have a “magic wand.”

Glasner, who led Eintracht Frankfurt to Europa League glory in 2022, takes over a Palace side five points clear of the relegation zone and 12 ahead of Saturday’s opponents Burnley, still missing a trio of their most influential players, and in recent weeks playing in front of an increasingly disillusioned fanbase.

The 49-year-old, who took charge of his first training session on Wednesday, referenced the famous American illusionist as he said: “I’m no magician. I’m not David Copperfield.

“But what I always tell the players is the same for me. You can grow with your challenges, and it’s a challenge for me, it’s a challenge for all of us, but I’ve had a warm welcome from all the players, from the whole organisation, also from the British weather the last few days.

“It made it really easy to start the players listening. The players have great character. We’ve had more meetings than training sessions on the pitch, but I really think we all did well together.

“Now it’s up to us to get the confidence back. It was a short week but the players are listening, are willing, are open-minded and this is what I like.

“I don’t expect that there will be something totally different tomorrow because that is not possible – sorry, no David Copperfield here – but I feel this is a great team with great character fighting for each other, fighting for a win.

“What I can promise is that it is always our basic (philosophy), the only thing I expect from my players in every game is that we give 100 per cent to win this game.”

Glasner, who spent almost his entire playing career as a defender for Austrian side SV Ried, had spells leading Ried and LASK before moving to the Bundesliga where he led Wolfsburg to Champions League qualification and then joined Frankfurt.

He was in talks to take over from Hodgson when the 76-year-old’s contract expired at the end of this season but was instead announced ahead of schedule, replacing a man already under pressure and rumoured to be on his way out before he was hospitalised after falling ill during a training session on Thursday.

Glasner sees himself as a glass-half-full character when it comes to the relegation battle and, in a meeting with league officials, checked to see where his naturally expressive nature on the touchline could get him into trouble.

He added: “I was used to sprinting down the sidelines and celebrating with my players. I try to be calm but sometimes I’m not calm.

“I don’t know what you will see tomorrow but everything you will see, this is Oliver Glasner.

“I cannot change in two days and I don’t want to change. If I feel the emotion, I want to show it.”

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    In a debut season defined by individual excellence, the first half was superb, even by Palmer’s own exceptional standards.

    His first goal alone was worthy of winning a Premier League match, nutmegging Jarrad Branthwaite before playing a neat one-two with Jackson, then curling the ball left-footed beyond the dive of Jordan Pickford.

    His second was a poacher’s finish, reacting quickest to knock in the rebound after Jackson’s effort had been pushed out by the goalkeeper.

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    Jackson scored Chelsea’s fourth, hooking Marc Cucurella’s cross under control and guiding it home with a swing of the right boot.

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    At the end of an excellent display, academy graduate Alfie Gilchrist capped things off by firing home his first goal for the club in stoppage time.

    Everton boss Sean Dyche, whose side sit just two points clear of the relegation zone, reflected on a “horrid” night for his team.

    “It’s miles off where we want to be,” he said. “There’s no excuses for that. Miles off the mark, miles from where we’ve been.

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