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Tottenham v Crystal Palace: Pardew calls for derby positivity

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Sep 2015

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Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has urged his side to stay positive against Tottenham this weekend following their near-miss against Manchester City last time out.

Palace came within a whisker of becoming the first side to take points off the Premier League leaders, only for Kelechi Iheanacho to strike late on and deny the hosts at Selhurst Park.

Sunday’s trip to White Hart Lane offers an opportunity for Pardew’s men to bounce back, having built on their top-half finish last term with a promising start this time around – the likes of Yohan Cabaye and Connor Wickham adding to Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha’s attacking threat.

Pardew has doubts over Damien Delaney and Wickham due to knocks, but Joe Ledley has recovered from a hamstring problem as Palace target a first win at White Hart Lane since 1997.

“Last year, the finish we had was remarkable. From the bottom of the league to 10th, under those circumstances,” Pardew said.

“The players’ character and endeavour carried us through that run. We’ve made technical improvements by adding players this year.

“On the balance of play against City, we were a lot closer this time round. It was really tough for them.

“Spurs have some outstanding players. I’m a big fan of [Harry] Kane, [Nacer] Chadli and [Christian] Eriksen. They will definitely finish in the top 10.

“The players are smiley and happy and we’re going to go out and try to take the game to Spurs.”

Mauricio Pochettino’s side come into the game off the back of a 3-1 Europa League success over Qarabag at White Hart Lane, which saw recent recruit Son Heung-min score twice.

Pochettino named a largely second-string XI for the clash but will be made to sweat on the fitness of Christian Eriksen (knee), Mousa Dembele (ankle) and Eric Dier (knock), with Nabil Bentaleb (ankle) ruled out.

Kane made a brief cameo in midweek and should be fully fresh as he seeks to get off the mark for Spurs this term. 

“It wasn’t easy but the answer was perfect for the team and in the end we fully deserved the result,” Pochettino said of their European success.

“We’re a young team, a young squad and there were debuts for a lot of players, so we can look back and take a lot of positives.

“Now we need to prepare for Palace, try to perform well again and try to win on Sunday.”

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