Alan Pardew sticks to his guns as Leicester loom large
Published 18/03/2016 | 16:21
Alan Pardew insists Crystal Palace will not change their attacking style to contain title favourites Leicester.
The Foxes are five points clear at the top of the table ahead of Saturday's meeting and eight games away from completing the greatest shock of the Premier League era.
In contrast, Palace have slid to 15th after failing to win any of their last 12 league games and the Eagles are in danger of being pulled into a relegation scrap.
Victory over the league leaders this weekend could spark a turnaround but an open approach may also suit Leicester, who have proved themselves deadly on the counter-attack.
"We'll go toe-to-toe. My philosophy won't change," Pardew said.
"We've played reasonably well at home. I'm not going to change us. We're still going to play an open game, we're still going to attack the opposition.
"I could sit my team in and grind out some wins at home, but my fans don't want that.
"They want us to compete on an even keel with the top teams. We'll compete against Leicester."
Claudio Ranieri's men are within touching distance of the title but they have shown few signs of nerves in recent weeks, taking 10 points from the last 12 to strengthen their hold at the top.
A place in the top four, at the very least, looks secure and Pardew believes the majority of teams in the division are delighted by the Foxes' success.
"A lot of people in the game - chief executives, chairmen, agents, the media - assumed there was a glass ceiling to that Champions League, which was only going to get worse," Pardew said.
"Leicester have blown that apart. Thank goodness for that. We were concerned we wouldn't get a (Nottingham) Forest again, or a Wimbledon, and they're doing it.
"Nothing would be greater for all other teams in the Premier League if they won it.
"I'm not saying for the top four or five, it's not particularly great for them, but for all the other teams, we'll all pat them on the back and say what a job they've done."
Palace looked capable of mounting a surprise challenge themselves for the European spots, when they sat fifth at the end of December, but a nightmare run has left the Eagles just eight points clear of the bottom three.
Their poor league form has not translated to the cups, however, where Palace have beaten Southampton, Stoke, Tottenham and Reading this year to book an FA Cup semi-final against Watford at Wembley.
"I noticed in the end period of the Reading game, we saw the game out comfortably," Pardew said.
"We've not done that in the league, which is telling me there's a slight psychological issue with the team.
"It's understandable when everyone is reminding us of our position in the league, we have to get over that. We have to see the game out.
"We were criticised a lot against Liverpool, tactically, our fitness, this and that. If I'm honest, we just got nervous a little bit.
"We've talked about that, we can't back off teams, we've never done that before. We need to see games out and one win will help us do that."