| 3.5°C Dublin

Butterfield sure under-seige Palace can shock Villa

Danny Butterfield believes Crystal Palace can exploit the current siege mentality at Selhurst Park to cause an FA Cup upset.

Palace were docked 10 points in the Championship when they were put into administration a fortnight ago with £30m debts, and the players' futures are uncertain as they prepare to take on Premier League high-fliers Aston Villa in the fifth round tomorrow.

But 30-year-old Butterfield, whose contract runs out at the end of the season, said: "It has brought us closer together. We are working hard for each other. The fans appreciate that, and the last four or five games the fans have been brilliant home and away. It gives you that extra buzz on the pitch.

"I'm effectively unemployed in three or four months time and so each game I play I'm playing for my future whether that be at Crystal Palace or elsewhere.

"We hope our performances secure our future. We're trying to catch the eye and hope that in the summer people are interested."

Butterfield has played much of his career as a defender but has been pressed into service as a striker in recent games after Victor Moses was sold by the administrators to Wigan for £2.5m to pay off the Eagles' debts.

That was a decision which was taken out of the hands of Palace manager Neil Warnock to keep the club afloat, but Butterfield does not believe the administrator has a say in any other football-related matters.

Butterfield said: "I can't imagine Neil Warnock being told by anybody to pick his team. If you play under the gaffer you know if you put in a performance he is going to look after you. He's a good manager to be in this position with. We're hoping someone buys the club quite soon."

Reaching Wembley would certainly help the financial situation and Butterfield believes Palace could emulate Cardiff City, the last championship club to contest the FA Cup final, against winners Portsmouth in 2008.

Butterfield said: "If we put on a performance and have a bit of luck on the way who knows. Villa have got quality and they have no weaknesses but in the cup anything can happen on the day."

Villa's 12-goal leading scorer Gabriel Agbonlahor and skipper Stiliyan Petrov are major fitness worries for the Palace tie. Agbonlahor and Petrov suffered ankle and leg injuries respectively against Alex Ferguson's side in midweek and are regarded as "doubtful" by Villa boss Martin O'Neill.

CRYSTAL PALACE v ASTON VILLA

TOMORROW LIVE UTV/SETANTA IRELAND (KO 3.45)


Privacy