Exclusive - Alan Pardew's FA Cup final programme notes
Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has urged his team to grasp their chance to make history by beating Manchester United in the FA Cup final at Wembley.
Writing in his programme notes for the showpiece game of the English football season, Pardew suggested he will remind his players that they are within touching distance of a career defining moment.
“My Crystal Palace players get a chance to live out the dream this afternoon and I’m sure they all appreciate that this is a moment in their careers and it needs to be grasped,” he writes.
“I could not wish to be heading into this FA Cup final with a more honest group of players and even if we have had some difficult times in the second half of our Premier League campaign, I know we will get a whole hearted performance from the players wearing our famous shirts today.
“Our display against Watford in the semi-final at Wembley last month highlighted that when we have our best team out and playing near its full capacity, we are a match for most opponents and hopefully we show our abilities when it matters most once again this afternoon.
“To finish my first full season as Crystal Palace manager in an FA Cup final that could give us a passport to European football is a wonderful feeling and I have to believe my fortune is about to take a turn for the better in a competition everyone with a love to English football wants to win.”
Pardew ends his programme notes by expressing his hope that this season of improbable successes in English soccer will have one final twist in its narrative.
“I’m not sure what the odds would have been on this unfathomable season ending with Leicester City as Premier League champions and Crystal Palace as FA Cup winners, but we are one game away from making that incredible double a reality,” he concludes.
“Here’s hoping we complete the dream.”