Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has admitted that it was "frustrating" to have an international break so early in the new Premier League season and that he hopes the hiatus will not affect his team's impressive recent form in their top-of-the-table clash with Manchester City.
The Eagles have soared so far this season, with nine points from the first four matches, including a 2-1 victory over reigning champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, as them climbed to 2nd in the table.
But with a two-week international break seeing Palace players Yohan Cabaye, Yannick Bolasie, Bakary Sako, James McArthur, Adrian Mariappa, Chung-yong Lee and Pape Souare all travel abroad to play matches, Pardew admitted that he has not been able to train with all his squad after the international break.
"Unfortunately I haven't seen many of the players, [I've] still not seen a couple who are still to return. And like all Premier League managers it's difficult. You can't really do the work you want to do so both us and Manchester City will be hoping to keep the momentum that we've gained," he said.
When asked if he was frustrated by the international break, Pardew said: "Yeah, but I don't know if it's been helpful to us in that Manchester City might have lost a bit of momentum. Because obviously they were really looking strong before the international break. So two teams are looking to find the form they had two weeks ago".
Palace play league leaders Manchester City, who have a 100% winning record so far this campaign, at Selhurst Park on 12 September.