Alan Pardew wants to see a strong finish to Crystal Palace’s Premier League campaign when they travel to St Mary’s on Sunday to face a Southampton side chasing European football.
The Eagles have struggled slightly in recent weeks, with last Saturday’s 2-1 triumph over Stoke City ending a run of four matches without a win.
Three points at Southampton, combined with a loss for Everton and Watford failing to win, would see Palace finish 12th.
However, Pardew knows that first and foremost, a strong performance has to be produced and remains positive ahead of the game against his former employers.
“Sunday is a big game for us because the four-place swing is a lot of prize money. There’s been no problem with focus,” he said.
Palace sit on 42 points, and although the relegation picture has already been decided, Pardew knows that things could have been very different.
“The logical side of my brain never thought we were in trouble. The other side knows that we could have got sucked in, even with 42 points,” he said.
However, the season does not finish on Sunday for Palace, who make the short trip to Wembley next weekend to face Manchester United in the FA Cup final.
“I think the Premier League and the FA have come to a great decision to have the cup final at the end of the season. It gives us a week to build up,” Pardew said.