Saturday 24 March 2018

Joe Ledley calls on fringe players to take their chance

Joe Ledley, left, wants Crystal Palace to show the depth of their squad at Southampton
Joe Ledley, left, wants Crystal Palace to show the depth of their squad at Southampton

Midfielder Joe Ledley claims the Crystal Palace players must make the most of their first-team opportunity if given a chance to feature in the EFL Cup tie at Southampton.

Eagles boss Alan Pardew has confirmed he will utilise the squad for the trip to St Mary's Stadium, where he previously had a short spell as manager, winning the 2010 Football League Trophy final at Wembley.

Wales international Ledley was in the starting XI for Sunday's 4-1 Premier League victory over Stoke, and stressed whichever team runs out against the Saints must give their all for the shirt.

"It doesn't matter who the gaffer puts out, you are going to represent Crystal Palace Football Club and you have to go and perform to the best possible standard that you can," he said.

"Obviously it is going to be difficult though because Southampton are a good team with a good squad and we will need to go there and perform.

"We have played them a few times [in cups] and come out on top, but we don't want to jinx that and we know it will be a hard game."

Pardew admits he needs to give some of the players additional match time, not always easy in the hustle-and-bustle of regular Premier League action, with the win over Stoke making it two out of two for the Eagles after beating Middlesbrough away.

"There will be a lot of changes for the League Cup game," the Palace manager said.

"Of course, we want to win it but I want to see a few other players and I have got to rest the guys who played against Stoke for the weekend at Sunderland."

Midfielder Yohan Cabaye has been working on his rehabiliation from a groin problem, so could feature if fully fit, along with the likes of Bakary Sako and forward Connor Wickham, who was on the bench against Stoke, but played the second half of the win over Blackpool in the previous EFL Cup tie.

Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey might also come back into contention, having seen Steve Mandanda take over between the posts for the past three matches.

"I have definitely got to give some game time to some players on Wednesday, as we had a few players who missed pre-season, so they must play at a certain level," Pardew added.

Defender James Tomkins left Selhurst Park on crutches after the Stoke match and continues to be assessed.

Press Association

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