Alan Pardew: 'I want one of our players to be an FA Cup hero'

Thursday 21 Apr 2016
Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew instructs his side

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has challenged his players to make a name for themselves this Sunday when they take on Watford in their Emirates FA Cup semi-final. 

Despite struggling for form in the Premier League, the Eagles have reached their first Cup semi-final in 21 years.

Their run has been far from easy too, having to overcome Premier League opponents Southampton, Stoke and Tottenham Hotspur en-route to the last four.

Crystal Palace v Watford

The Emirates FA Cup
4pm, Sunday 24 April 2016
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Live on BT Sport
Winners receive £900,000 from prize fund
Losers receive £450,000

But in Pardew, Palace have someone who knows what it takes to get to The Final having scored the winning goal when his club beat Liverpool 4-3 in the 1990 semi-final.

And while the Hornets have only lost one of their six previous FA Cup ties with Palace, the Eagles manager is looking for one of his own players to step up this time around.

"One of them could end up like I was as a player," said Pardew. "As a manager you are never going to be the hero. 

"The real hero is going to be the one who scores the winning goal or has a great game. That is who the fans remember.

"And I want it to be James McArthur or Yohan Cabaye or Wilfried Zaha or Yannick Bolasie. 

"I want it to be one of my players. They have that opportunity and I really hope it comes to one of our players.

"We have an opportunity to win a trophy that does not come around very often. We have to understand that this is special in the history of this club."

Emirates FA Cup semi-final preview: Crystal Palace v Watford

At the moment, it is Crystal Palace’s defenders who are making a name for themselves in The Cup this season as another clean sheet this weekend would make it four successive shut outs – the first time they would have achieved that since 1924.

However, the two teams have form when it comes to crucial games, with Kevin Phillips’ penalty in extra time earning Crystal Palace victory in the Championship play-off final at Wembley in the 2012-13 season. 

And Pardew admits his team have been preparing for all eventualities – including the dreaded penalty shootout.

"We've introduced it to training this week," he says. "It's a skill we want to be comfortable with. 

"You can't recreate the tension of that walk up to the spot, but we want to be confident in our ability."

By FA Staff