Patrick Vieira says small pre-season squad is 'not ideal' as unvaccinated players are left at home

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has been left with a weakened squad for the club's pre-season tour, with some players unable to join the team in Australia.

Crystal Palace's pre-season preparations will be without a number of key players, with the club stating some are "unfit" while others "didn't meet the entry requirements".

Among the players missing are Wilfried Zaha, Eberechi Eze and Marc Guehi, who all remain in England to train and prepare for the upcoming campaign.

The Eagles started their pre-season tour with a 2-0 loss to fellow Premier League side Liverpool last week, and next face Manchester United at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday.

When questioned about his squad, Palace manager Patrick Vieira replied "I think it's not the ideal situation for a manager, of course, to have so many players behind.

"But on the other side, we are really pleased as a football club and myself as a manager to be part of that tournament.

"We went to Singapore, we are in Australia today and we look at our squad, we have so many young talents in our football and to have this kind of experience for them I think it's something unbelievable for them.

"We had some of the young players who never went outside of Europe.

"Today we are in Australia and we going to play United in front of 75,000, 80,000 people and that is an excitement for them."

Asked if it was embarrassing that some players had to stay behind due to their vaccination status, Vieira said: "I think it's important to understand that there are players who are staying behind for a different reason.

"Of course we are not going to talk about the private situation of players, if they are vaccinated or not.

"But there are players who stayed behind because they needed to have more training, some of them needed to play more games, more minutes.

"We just try to look at the situation and make the best decision possible for us to be competitive in the first game of the season."

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