Saturday 18 January 2020

Alan Pardew pleased as Eddie Jones makes things crystal clear to Palace players

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has led Crystal Palace to the FA Cup final
Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has led Crystal Palace to the FA Cup final

Alan Pardew has revealed Crystal Palace's use of Eddie Jones as a motivational speaker stemmed from a belief his players would benefit from hearing a new voice.

The manager on Saturday takes his team to former club Newcastle, where he hopes to build momentum ahead of their FA Cup final against Manchester United on May 21, just two days after the England rugby union head coach visited them to offer his advice during training.

Jones' presence at Palace came on the same day Teddy Sheringham was used to talk to the club's academy coaches, during the same season Steve Coppell has spoken to staff surrounding the first team, and perhaps more relevantly at a time when patience in managers is at its lowest.

Unlike reports of them losing the backing of their players, in modern football it is increasingly rare for managers to succeed over a long-term period, and Pardew believes his use of Jones and others helps to continue to "stimulate" his squad.

"I've always encouraged other coaches and managers to be involved, with comments from them," said Pardew, 54. "I asked a bit of advice at the weekend from a couple of people which was very sound. I expect, as I do on occasion, to get calls from some of the players I've coached to ring me. You have to keep your network big.

"The most important point (Jones made) was that great teams can get to finals, but great teams only win finals if they're great all the time. We have to be great this Saturday. That was the main key point I took from him.

"We can't turn up at Newcastle and let our standards down from Sunday otherwise we're doing a disservice to our fans and ourselves. He's given a lot of examples of how communication between the team and the coaches is important.

"The players just absorbed it. It's nice to hear it from somebody from a different genre, a different field, carrying the weight he does. It's a position that only great coaches and managers have.

"I worked it out that (France international) Yohan Cabaye will get a two-week holiday this year. That's a long time to stimulate a footballer. Same with (my) Wales (internationals at Euro 2016).

"You've got to stimulate players and staff to try and improve yourself."

Beyond a leg injury carried by the in-form Wilfried Zaha, which Pardew will continue to monitor in the hope he recovers on time, the remainder of the manager's regular first-team players are fit for selection on Saturday.

With his team almost safe from relegation from the Premier League and the Cup final such a priority, the temptation may exist to rest his players to ensure they remain fit, but Pardew insists he has no intention of doing so.

"I have no intention really to rotate," he said. "The team is strong. The guys in the background are in good physical and mental condition. I'll pick my best XI for each game now."

PA Media

The Left Wing: Leinster's weak point, Johann van Graan's future and Doris vs Deegan

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport