PALACE midfielder Owen Garvan is targeting a return to first-team action against Lazio next Saturday at Selhurst Park.
The midfielder sustained a knee injury in the first pre-season fixture at Dagenham & Redbridge after scoring the Eagles' second goal, but Garvan revealed he's back in training and just wants to be ready for Tottenham Hotspur on August 18.
"I just have a bit of tendonitis on the knee, it's a bit sore to run on, but I was back training on Tuesday with the lads," the Irishman said.
"I'm not going to Waterford on Saturday but I'll be looking to step up my fitness this weekend."
"I've only played 45 minutes in pre-season so far at Dagenham & Redbridge, so it was bad timing missing the Tuesday game at Gillingham and Saturday's at Crawley Town.
"I hope to get another 45 minutes and then line up against Lazio at home, and then the season starts the week after. If I can get a good run and keep playing the games, I hope to be right for the first day of the season."
With a host of top clubs and players set to arrive in SE25 this season, Garvan has his eye on a certain Manchester United player despite his love for Liverpool from a young age.
"I liked Liverpool growing up but we don't play them until October," he said.
"I think my family will be going to that.
"That is one of the weekends I am looking forward to, but I've also been a big Michael Carrick fan over the years and we play at Old Trafford early on too.
"There will be so many but I'll be looking at players in my own position and see how they are on the pitch."
In recent years, the likes of Norwich City and Swansea City have done well following promotion, and Garvan believes the best form of defence will be to attack sides – a philosophy backed by boss Ian Holloway.
And he hopes their home form will play a big part in survival too.
"Towards the end of last season the players were accustomed to how the gaffer wanted to play and hopefully we'll know how to play it this year from the start," Garvan said. "At the moment we're still quite light in a few positions so hopefully we'll get some more players in and get deals done.
"It's important we just go out and enjoy ourselves. We need to do that and give teams a hard time.
"A lot of teams are sometimes scared of other teams and try to catch them off guard by sitting back and parking the bus.
"If we attack teams, we'll surprise them really. I think that will be the way to go forward, it gets the crowd on your side, and if you do go down, you're going to do so with a fight.
"If we do well, our home record will hopefully give us a good chance."