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  • By Yann Tear at Wembley Stadium

Proud Vieira takes heart despite semi-final defeat and hails Palace 'work in progress'

Patrick Vieira believes Crystal Palace are on the right track as a club and that Sunday's FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea can prove to be a useful springboard to better things.

The Eagles frustrated the European champions during the first half with a rejigged formation of five at the back and for a while looked like they might pull off an upset to reach the final.

In the end, it was not to be as second half goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount ended their hopes. But the boss was satisfied that the cup run has revealed the potential of the squad he is assembling.

"Players playing in those kind of games where we are really close to a final - those are the kind of moments where players want to play more often," Vieira said. "It is important for us to build from that kind of platform we are putting in to place at the moment.

"It's an exciting period for the football club and we have to keep going. I'm surrounded by good people who want to take the club to the next level and we have to keep working.

"We tried to play our best, but Chelsea were too good on the day for us. We tried to frustrate them and I think we managed to do it in the first half but today it wasn't enough.

"Big games like this against very good teams, you need to take your chances and we didn't. We had those couple of chances and a couple of situations where we didn't find out front two quick enough and they closed the gap straight away. We didn't always make the right decision.

"The second half we got frustrated and didn't put so much pressure on the ball and Chelsea made it difficult for us but we have to keep improving, not get frustrated and keep working together but this is a team on a different level from us.

"But I'm really proud of the team, about their approach to the game about the way we made it difficult for them and we have to build on those kind of performances. We are aiming for it."


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