New Crystal Palace manger Frank de Boer described his side’s 3-0 home defeat to Huddersfield Town as a “hard lesson for everyone at the club.”
A Joel Ward own goal and a brace from Steve Mounie inflicted an embarrassing opening day defeat in the Dutch manager’s first competitive outing since taking charge in June.
Palace conceded two first-half goals within two minutes of each other.
“We didn’t want to start the season in this manner and nobody of course expected this result,” De Boer said.
“This result is a hard lesson for myself, the staff and players because at the highest level football matches are decided by details. We lost the game in 15 minutes after starting quite well but we made the wrong decisions for their first two goals.
“They took their opportunities but we still controlled the game even after going behind and we had chances to make it 2-1. If we had pulled a goal back then I was confident of getting a point. Those 15 minutes in the first-half cost us and we were punished by a good Huddersfield team. We can have no arguments losing the game 3-0.”
De Boer defended his team’s desire as the Eagles adjust to a new style of play with the former Inter Milan and Ajax manager switching to a three-man defence and implementing a possession based game.
He said: “There was no issue with the players’ desire. We started the game well but we didn’t make the right decisions when we were under pressure. We showed aggression late in the first-half and second-half but it’s very difficult to recover after conceding two goals.
“I wasn’t surprised by Huddersfield, we were well-prepared for how they played. We just didn’t make the right decisions at the crucial moments and they were clinical with their chances. Conceding two goals like that before half-time affects the crowd and the players which makes it very difficult.”
Photos by Keith Gillard.