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De Boer: Mid-table my goal

12 August 2017 National Sport


Last Updated: 12/08/17 8:50am

Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer says they will be wary of newly-promoted Huddersfield at Selhurst Park

Frank de Boer insists a mid-table finish at Crystal Palace will give him the same satisfaction as winning the Eredivisie title with Ajax.

The 47-year-old Dutchman enjoyed a stellar playing career with Holland, Barcelona, Galatasaray and Rangers before guiding his boyhood club Ajax to four straight Eredivisie titles from 2011 to 2014.

Last season’s short-lived spell at ambitious Inter Milan, who sacked him after 85 days, represented the first failure of his career, but after returning to management at Palace he insisted the transition had been seamless.

De Boer’s first competitive match as manager is at home to Huddersfield on Saturday and, of his new job, he said: “The motivation is to make the team better and to make every individual a better player.

“For every manager that’s something fantastic. You work hard with everyone and at the end you say, ‘This is what we achieved with the team’.

“Ok, there is no trophy if you finish 12th or 10th or something, but at that moment it’s also a fantastic achievement for the club because they expected it from the manager when they started.

“Of course, managing another club you have another perspective on that, to be in the first four or to play [in the] European Cup or for the championship, but we are not in that situation.

“We want to make a solid club and if we achieve that, I’m as happy as when I lifted a trophy. It’s completely the same.”

De Boer's unsuccessful spell at Inter lasted just 85 days

De Boer’s unsuccessful spell at Inter lasted just 85 days

Ahead of the Terriers’ visit, De Boer spoke again of pursuing a model that allowed Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen and others to excel at Ajax before moving to the Premier League.

“It’s important that you see the long-term [prospects] of the player, where his career could be at 26 or 28,” he added.

“We did it a lot with Davy Klaassen, who’s now at Everton, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Christian Eriksen, because they get a chance.

“Young players, they are not as consistent as the experienced players but when you have a good mixture then that’s the best you can have.

“The experienced players really teach how it works to be really professional, they’re helping, but also they see that if they do well they can make a difference for the team.”


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