Alan Pardew thinks Crystal Palace have every chance of ending their wait for a first major trophy against Manchester United in Saturday’s FA Cup final.
The closest Palace have come previously was in the same competition in 1990 when Pardew played in both matches as United won a replay 1-0 after a 3-3 draw at the first game at Wembley.
The former Newcastle United manager is aware his team go into the showpiece event as underdogs but feels the pressure will all be on Louis van Gaal’s side.
Pardew added that FA Cup success would feel just as good for Palace as Premier League glory did for shock winners Leicester City.
“I think the pressure is on them all the time – it’s Manchester United, they are iconic,” he said at his pre-match media conference.
“It’s a different history they take to the game. This history we take is the one final we lost, so this group of players have the opportunity to put something permanent there and that’s a first major trophy for Crystal Palace football club.
“I feel the weight we have of not winning something. It’s a club which has a certain DNA and I think it would be good for the DNA of this club to win a trophy.
“One more game, one more Premier League team to beat – and then we win it. I sense my players are in a good place.
“It’s hard to get a winners’ medal at the level we are at, like the Leicester players, winning the FA Cup would mean just as much.”
Pardew is relishing the opportunity to test himself on the big stage.
He continued: “I’m up against the biggest club in the world. I’m looking forward to it, my players are looking forward to it.
“Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata, Marouane Fellaini – these are top players in the height of their careers and that’s why they play at Man United.
“But we have got areas of the pitch where we are slightly superior and we have to make those areas count.
“They will dominate possession and we’ll be very, very dangerous when they over commit.”
Asked if he had learned anything from the 1990 defeat or the 2006 final where his West Ham side lost to Liverpool, Pardew replied: “Yeah – not to lose.”
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