Alan Pardew seeks another 'gold dust' win as Crystal Palace head to Hull
Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has challenged his players to provide another "jolt" reaction when they head to Hull for a match he believes could define the first half of their season.
The Eagles ended a wretched run of six straight league defeats with a 3-0 win over Southampton at Selhurst Park last Saturday.
It was a result which eased the pressure on the Palace boss and also came following the bitter disappointment of a dramatic 5-4 stoppage-time defeat at fellow strugglers Swansea.
Pardew believes it will take another fully-focused display to get the required result this Saturday at Hull, who are also scrapping for points in a congested bottom half of the table.
"We are all finding it difficult to turn the top teams over, so the rest of us are fighting amongst ourselves. T hat level between the bottom and middle-tier teams is down to fine margins to get results," Pardew said.
"A win is gold dust in this division at the moment.
"We have a game at Hull which could define the first half of our season because we have two very difficult fixtures after Hull, we need to get something there, then we can look at Man United and Chelsea , to relish that challenge.
"The first job, though, is Hull, and it will be a big game for both teams."
Pardew added: " It is the consistency of performance which you are always searching for, that is the challenge which is in front of our players.
"If they put in a performance like they did against Southampton, with the concentration , the effort and running power, then Hull are going to find it very difficult to beat us.
"We saw last week a reaction to what was a kind of freakish game at Swansea, it kind of jolted us a little bit, and we need to continue in that 'jolt period' to take that same kind of attitude to Hull.
"They will have the disappointment of their result against Middlesbrough (on Monday night), they will be hungry for a home win - and we have to match that desire."
With forward Connor Wickham sidelined by a long-term knee injury, Pardew accepts his squad is light heading into the new year, although he remains hopeful on-loan Chelsea striker Loic Remy is closer to being back in contention.
The Eagles boss will look to be active in January, but only for the right targets.
"I think we need to do something in this window, but a lot of teams will need to move in this window because it is so tight from eighth down," he said.
"A defender, and a left-footed defender, would be important to us if we could get one in this window.
"The Connor (Wickham) injury has also affected us, and that's another area (of the team) we are perhaps going to have to look at it if Loic doesn't come through in January."
Pardew added: "It is about getting in good players.
"They can come from all different areas - I have proved that (before) by bringing players in from France for small fees who have been very successful here in England.
"We will be hunting in a big market, and hopefully we get the one that fits for us."
Irish Independent Sport Star Awards
Pick our magic sports moment of the year and win a trip for two to London. To view the shortlist and cast your vote click here.