Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew insists he “never dreamt” his side could achieve a top-half finish when he arrived from Newcastle United in January.
Pardew replaced Neil Warnock at Selhurst Park with Palace in the bottom three, but managed to steer the club well clear of the relegation dogfight.
“We knew we had a chance [to finish 10th],” he said after a 1-0 win over Swansea City on Sunday. “It’s probably down to that win at Liverpool [3-1 last weekend].
“It’s remarkable, I’d never have dreamt it
“It’s been a great experience. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve loved working with the staff and players.
“The second year [in the Premier League] is the trickiest and obviously Palace didn’t quite find it in the first half. But we got the adrenaline and fight back.”
Asked how far he could take Palace, Pardew added: “I don’t know. But the chairman’s got an extra £4million [due to finishing 10th]. I’ll be trying to take that off him.”
Pardew’s former club Newcastle avoided slipping into the Championship by beating another of his old employers, West Ham, 2-0 on the final day of the season.
“I’m pleased for the fans at Newcastle,” he remarked. “I had a good first half of the season there.”