Our final friendly fixture ended in defeat. But pre-season is over now. Now the real stuff begins.
"We planned our pre-season very carefully, so we had some really challenging games to ensure there was no false sense of security and so we know exactly where we’re at going into the season," the manager began.
"I’ve been involved in pre-seasons when we’ve won every game, hammered some teams…and then you get to the first game and you lose it. I’d rather have it the other way round and play a really good team to receive a real reality check of what we need to do.
"There were some positive things today, but obviously we’ve got to do better. That’s obvious when you lose any game by that sort of margin.
"But Crystal Palace are a Premier League team who could well be in the top half this season – and one of their players is a real game changer.
"He's worth tens of millions according to the press and I thought he made the difference today.
"It was a big test today. But up until 1-0, we looked alright. Solid. And I was quite pleased with our organisation. We’ve got pace on the counter attack but we were wasteful today.
"So people will be saying that we haven’t won a game in pre-season, but it doesn’t have any effect on what happens at the start of the season. And I’ve got enough experience to have a proper perspective of on pre-season.
"Everyone starts off on zero. There are 46 games to play and we’re going to be competitive come the first game.
"We had some very challenging games and they show you where you’re weak and where you need to improve. There is no question that we have to improve and get better at what we’re doing. So that is what we’re going to do.
"We’ve lost the game today, but we’re not going to lose confidence. There was nothing at stake in pre-season. Now I'm looking forward to putting pre-season aside and getting on with what it’s really about. Competitive games with three points at stake in every game."