Palace boss Pardew realises importance of Emirates FA Cup

Sunday 21 Feb 2016
Alan Pardew (centre) led Crystal Palace to victory at White Hart Lane

Alan Pardew believes The Emirates FA Cup can play a big part in the evolution of Crystal Palace Football Club.

The 54-year-old has led the Eagles to their first FA Cup quarter final appearance in 21 years after Martin Kelly’s first-half goal knocked out Spurs at White Hart Lane.

And Pardew knows only too well what a good FA Cup run can do for the Selhurst Park outfit, having been a part of the Palace squad who were runners-up in 1990.

Spurs 0-1 Crystal Palace

The Emirates FA Cup
Fifth Round
3pm, Sunday 21 February
White Hart Lane
Winning club to receive £180,000 from FA prize fund
Click here for Opta stats match page

He revealed: "I said to the players in the changing room that you won’t know the effects and the impact The FA Cup has until you reach the quarter finals, Semi-Finals, Final – then you understand this competition and the romance of it.

"When we got to The Final in 1990, The Cup gained us probably more fans than at any other time – and they’ve stayed with us. So we carry that forward.

"And for me and Steve [Parish, Palace co-chairman] and our new owners, it’s about building a club [but] we mustn’t get ahead of ourselves.

"There are some very, very good clubs in the Premier League and a great Cup run can gain you support and build you as a club. That’s what we’re trying to do."

This was just Crystal Palace’s third win in their last 12 matches – and just Tottenham’s second defeat of 2016.

Spurs won both Premier League matches between these sides this season – and Pardew knew he had to change something in order for his side to claim a result.

He added: "We learnt some lessons from the two Tottenham games before. We changed the shape today so we didn’t get pushed back so far. 

"In doing that we had to release our full-backs. And to get that goal on 44 minutes from a full-back shows the kind of intent we had.

Crystal Palace

Martin Kelly wheels away in delight after scoring the winner

"We hummed and hawed whether to play Martin left or right-back today. Fortunately we made the right call on that because it was a great finish."

Crystal Palace have now seen off three fellow Premier League sides on their run to the last eight, and Pardew has asked for some luck in the latter stages of the competition.

He said: "The draw hasn’t been kind to us. Southampton away, Stoke at home and Tottenham away – it takes some doing.

"When [Dele Alli’s shot] hit one post and then hit the other post… you need a bit of luck in this competition, I know that down the years.

"We had that today and hopefully that stays with us."

Pardew continued: "The guys showed today that we are resilient. We defended well, which you have to do at Spurs, and we broke well.

"Second half, if I’m honest I’m surprised that we handled that so well. We really did well [in the] second half."

Meanwhile, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino said: "We feel very disappointed because it was a competition that we were very excited to go far [in].

"It wasn’t our day, but that’s football."

By Glenn Lavery at White Hart Lane