Sunday 23 October 2016

Alan Pardew: Crystal Palace in relegation fight

Published 29/02/2016 | 15:06

Alan Pardew's Crystal Palace side have slipped to 14th in the Premier League
Alan Pardew's Crystal Palace side have slipped to 14th in the Premier League

Alan Pardew admits Crystal Palace are in a relegation battle.

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The Eagles were in the chase for a European place before Christmas but a nightmare run of 10 games without a win has seen them slip to 14th.

They are currently eight points above the drop zone but on Tuesday night travel to a Sunderland side looking to climb out of the bottom three, and drag Palace further into trouble.

At his pre-match press conference, Eagles boss Pardew said: "Are we in a relegation fight? Yes, of course we are.

"We keep losing. There is no talk of Europe at this club. We are focused now on what Crystal Palace need to deliver over the next 10 games.

"We've got a fantastic opportunity in the FA Cup but the league form hasn't been good enough and we need to put it right, straight away.

"That doesn't mean to say we can't have our strongest ever finish in the Premier League. We can do that, we have the capability but we need to kick into gear."

Despite Palace's poor form Pardew insists he has no concerns over facing the sack.

"I don't fear for my job at this football club," he added. "The pressure I am under is the normal pressure of a Premier League manager winning games.

"Crystal Palace fans know this team. Watching this team in the 14 months since I've been here, this is the first time we have had any down time.

"But we are not going to put our head in the sand. We are going to have to deliver a performance and that's what we'll try to do on Tuesday night."

Yannick Bolasie could return to the starting line-up for the first time since December, an absence which has coincided with Palace's tumble down the table.

But Pardew is eager not to place too much pressure on the returning winger, who was a key figure in their fine start to the season until he suffered a hip injury.

"It's easy to say we have missed players and start leaning on the fact Yannick is back and everything will be okay, but it doesn't work like that," he said.

"We all need to pull our fingers out; me, the staff and the players. We know it's the biggest game of the season for Sunderland, and in some ways it's the biggest game of the season for us. "

Press Association

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