Friday 9 December 2016

Safety prompts Pardew to stay put

Crystal Palace 2 Stoke City 1

Philip Duncan

Published 08/05/2016 | 02:30

Crystal Palace's Connor Wickham and Stoke City's Charlie Adam (right) battle for the ball. Photo: John Walton/PA
Crystal Palace's Connor Wickham and Stoke City's Charlie Adam (right) battle for the ball. Photo: John Walton/PA
Dwight Gayle celebrates after scoring the second goal for Crystal Palace. Photo: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew during a lap of honour at the end of the match. Photo: Alan Walter/Reuters
Stoke City's Giannelli Imbula and Crystal Palace's Connor Wickham battle for the ball. Photo: John Walton/PA

Alan Pardew will sign a new contract with Crystal Palace after the south London club secured their Premier League status with victory over Stoke.

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Palace were as high as fifth at Christmas, but their league form has derailed in dramatic fashion since the turn of the year. Indeed yesterday's win, inspired by a second-half brace from Dwight Gayle, was only their second in 20 matches.

Pardew has maintained that he would not sign a new contract until Palace's survival had been secured and with their top-flight status now intact, the former Newcastle and West Ham manager is ready to commit his future to the club.

"The contract was agreed some time ago but I know this football club and it was very important that our status was secured for me to warrant that contract in my opinion," Pardew said.

"Now it is, I will happily sign it. There has been no question of me not signing it unless we went down, then I would have to ask them if they wanted to do it if I am honest.

"So, there is no problem with my commitment to this football club."

Referring to the takeover of the club by NBA owner Josh Harris, which is reportedly set to be completed before the opening of the transfer window, Pardew added: "We have a great opportunity. I am in a privileged position in that we have investment from America."

Palace, who will face Manchester United in the FA Cup final later this month, fell behind after Charlie Adam struck with 26 minutes gone. But Gayle equalised for the hosts shortly after the restart before doubling his tally with a delightful set-piece midway through the second period.

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