Alan Pardew is calling on Crystal Palace to keep looking up, stating that a mid-table finish in the Premier League is not good enough for his team.
Palace picked up a surprise win away at reigning champions Chelsea last month, but a 1-0 defeat at Tottenham on Sunday brought about their second consecutive top-flight loss.
However, the Palace coach feels his team have proved they have the quality to mix it with the elite if they make some minor improvements.
“I don’t want to be in the mid-table, I told the players after the game it’s not for me,” Pardew said in a news conference.
“I’m an experienced manager, I know a good side when I see one and this is a good side. Therefore we need to tighten up in certain areas, be stronger in the mind and we can achieve a great season.
“That, for us, would be a top-10 finish, maybe higher than that, and a cup competition. They should be our goals, particularly after these first six games and the way we’ve gone about the opposition in the victories and defeats.”
Palace came close to opening the scoring in the London derby – eventually settled by a Son Heung-min strike – with Yohan Cabaye and Bakary Sako hitting the woodwork either side of half-time.
Subsequently, Pardew laid some of the blame at the feet of his forwards, though he was quick to credit Hugo Lloris with a top performance for the hosts.
“Going forward I thought we weren’t as good as we usually are,” he added. “Having said that, the goalkeeper is probably their man of the match with two unbelievable saves to deny us the first goal which would’ve changed everything.
“I could argue that we should have done better in certain things but they are the margins that you win and lose by in this division. We’ve got to make sure those margins come in our favour.
“We’ve won three, we’ve lost three in our first six. If you look at the fixtures I don’t think that’s a bad return, really.
“Having said that it could have been so much better. Therefore, we must lean on that part of it and with a little bit of improvement we could find ourselves competing at the top of the division.”