Tuesday 24 April 2018

Pardew instilling belief at Palace

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew, pictured, believes his side are capable of mixing it with the best in the Premier League
Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew, pictured, believes his side are capable of mixing it with the best in the Premier League

Alan Pardew is instilling a belief among his Crystal Palace squad that they are capable of beating any of the Premier League elite.

The Eagles were defeated 2-1 on Saturday by London rivals Arsenal but outplayed Arsene Wenger's side for large periods of the game and came within inches of snatching a late draw when Glenn Murray's stoppage-time header came back off the post.

Pardew hailed the performance as the best he has seen since taking charge at Selhurst Park at the turn of the year and - with victories over Liverpool and Tottenham behind them - the former Newcastle boss insists his side can take on all comers if they have the self-confidence to do so.

"The message in our dressing room was that we have to come out and play a more competitive game even against the top teams and be brave," he said.

"I was proud that they took it to Arsenal and we can lean on that. That's one thing that we can take from the game, lean on the fact that we took the game to Arsenal, and in that framework we had individual players that can hurt teams. So we have got more here than we think we have, in my opinion. And I keep trying to stress that to the team.

"We have that individual ability within the group, I genuinely believe. It was a hard call to get beat here today by this team. It's just in the way you set up the team and the strategy and philosophy that you're putting in front of them.

"To go and take the game to Arsenal. We did that from the moment the game kicked off and the possession today doesn't surprise me."

With the likes of Jason Puncheon, Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie, Palace have the pace and trickery to test the best defences in the league and Pardew felt he saw the first glimpses of the players feeling they can take it to the likes of Arsenal.

"I think we should have a little more confidence in what we have in the dressing room, and I think that showed," he added.

"They believed it today for the first time since I've been here. We've won games because we've been resilient and we do have attacking flair on the break.

"But we can also mix it and take it to the opposition and I was very proud of the team today that they believed they could do it, and they almost did achieve it.

"We've still got lots to do. I'm pleased that they believe they can take a game to the likes of Arsenal because we've got some big clubs to come here still in Manchester United and Man City, and we can mix it with them and we've got to believe that. Of course the next three games are in and around that mid-table and we've got to exploit that situation."

Press Association

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