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Glasner admits surprise at Crystal Palace’s top-10 finish

Jean-Philippe Mateta scored hat-trick in an emphatic final-day win for Crystal Palace over Aston Villa

Oliver Glasner admitted he did not expect his first three months as Crystal Palace boss to end with a highest-ever Premier League finish.

Austrian coach Glasner took over in February with the Eagles at risk of relegation in 16th but Sunday’s emphatic 5-0 win over Aston Villa ensured they finished in the top half for the first time ever.

Jean Philippe-Mateta scored a hat-trick at Selhurst Park to take his tally since Glasner’s appointment to 13 goals in as many games, with Eberechi Eze also scoring twice.

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The emphatic victory also means Palace scored 57 goals, the most they have ever managed in a top-flight campaign.

On their impressive end to the season, Glasner said: “I don’t know how many points we were away [from the top half when I started], but I didn’t focus on the table. Never.

“From the first day we were always focused and concentrated on the team, on the players, what we need to improve, what we need to win games.

“We really worked hard, and now we all get the reward.”

‘Confident’ over Eze and Olise futures

Having Eze and Michael Olise to call on has been another key reason for the club’s upturn in fortunes under Glasner.

The dynamic duo are regularly linked with moves away from South London but the 49-year-old believes he can convince them to remain part of his project next season.

He added: “I’m very confident. They have a contract, they are here, nobody told me now that they will leave.

“We all did what we can do as Crystal Palace, we showed them that we have ambition, we showed them how we want to play, which path we want to go, which journey we want to ride all together, and that they can play a crucial part in it.

“They can show their qualities, they can show their strengths, they can show their personality, they can express themselves, and that fits together.

“This is what we can do, and if something else happens it’s part of football.”

Picture of Cian Cheesbrough

Cian Cheesbrough

Cian is a sports journalist with a wealth of experience writing for national titles, including LiveScore, MailOnline, Eurosport and Sky Sports. He has covered a number of key events during his time in the industry, including from the press box at live Champions League fixtures.