by Andrew McSteen
Martin Kelly knows all about Crystal Palace’s next Premier League opponents, Liverpool, having joined the club at just seven years old and progressing through to the first team via their academy.
The match this Saturday follows an international break which came at the end of a tough five-game league run for the Eagles which saw them lose against Manchester City, Leicester City and Chelsea, but draw against Arsenal.
“We had a tough run on paper, so we’ve get to the group back together as quick as poss and work for that next game,” said Kelly. “It’s at Selhurst Park so we prefer to have it there with our fans behind us and know going into that match that we will put in a performance that we should put in.
“You get ticket requests early for these sort of games but it’s always one that the fans are looking out for – to watch us perform against those elite players and the sides that are doing well in the Champions League and then coming to Selhurst, knowing that it will be a tough game for them.”
With a number of first team players missing from the Beckenham training ground since sessions will have been adapted but Kelly was able to appreciate the opportunity to rest, ahead of the big test against the runaway league leaders this weekend.
“You try and make the numbers up as much as you can in training; whether it is with the academy lads coming in or not,” said Kelly to the South London Press. “We do as much shape and tactical work as possible without the players that go off to their countries, but you’ve got to keep your fitness levels up and understand that it’s sometimes good to have a rest if you’ve been playing week-in, week-out.
“We will recuperate and make sure that we take this time to keep our fitness levels up and we will get some good training sessions in – we are all looking forward to having our full squad back as well as the game itself.”