Pardew urges players to repeat his own cup heroics


Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew believes he can serve as the perfect inspiration for his players ahead of the FA Cup semi-final against Watford.

The Premier League counterparts meet at Wembley on Sunday to contest for a place in the season-ending showpiece and it is a stage of the competition to provoke fond memories for both Pardew and Palace.

During his playing days with the Selhurst Park club, Pardew scored an extra-time winner against Liverpool in 1990 to take Palace to their first and only FA Cup final.

"One of them could end up like I was as a player," said the former Newcastle United boss at a pre-match news conference.

"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."

A once promising season in the Premier League for Palace has fallen away dramatically, with Pardew's men claiming a solitary top-flight win in 2016.

But their manager has first-hand experience of the galvanising effect that reaching a cup final can have across the club and beyond.

"When I look back to 1990 I remember our fanbase for that game and it was completely different after," he explained.

"We had grabbed the community a little bit. And I hope we do that again this time. I think we need to win the semi-final to really grab it.

"So it is a great opportunity for us. And on the playing side 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."