Pardew’s re­venge

I want to make up for United de­feat in 1990

The Daily Telegraph - Total Football - - FRONT PAGE - By Matt Law Foot­ball News Cor­re­spon­dent, at Wem­b­ley

Alan Pardew has warned Manch­ester United that his Crys­tal Palace team can gain re­venge for the club’s 1990 FA Cup heart­break af­ter set­ting up a re­run of the fi­nal in which he played.

Goals from Yan­nick Bo­lasie and Con­nor Wick­ham se­cured a 2-1 semi-fi­nal vic­tory against Wat­ford and en­sured Palace would play in their first FA Cup fi­nal since los­ing in a re­play against United.

Pardew fa­mously scored the semi-fi­nal win­ner against Liver­pool in 1990 and be­lieves there are sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the Palace and United teams of then and now.

“We had a sim­i­lar side in 1990 – hard work­ing, dili­gent, good de­fend­ers, a lit­tle bit of pace on the at­tack,” said Palace man­ager Pardew.

Louis van Gaal is un­der in­tense pres­sure at United, just as Sir Alex Fer­gu­son was, and Pardew added: “It’s iden­ti­cal sce­nar­ios al­most for the man­agers, too. I hope the des­tiny isn’t the same re­sult.

“I’m pleased for Louis that he’s got there. They’re the big­gest club in the world. It’s a tough task for us and the game-plan will be dif­fer­ent, but we’ll buy into it. We have got play­ers who can hurt any team.” Pardew ad­mit­ted he used the spirit of 1990 to help his Palace side over­come Wat­ford and did not rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of the club’s an­them

Glad All Over be­ing re-recorded for next month’s fi­nal.

“It [1990] got a cou­ple of men­tions,” said Pardew. “It’s dif­fi­cult with John Salako in the room as he talks about it ev­ery five min­utes.

“We did pay homage to that semi with the flicked-on cor­ner rou­tine [for Bo­lasie’s goal]. Steve Cop­pell should take some credit for that.” Asked whether Glad All Over would be dusted down, Pardew added: “It might have a bit of rap­ping sec­tion in there. Or house, what­ever they do now. I’m so out of touch. The guys can en­joy that build-up. We’ve got a bit of work to do in the league, which I didn’t men­tion in the dress­ing room be­cause they would have thrown things at me.”

Other than pro­vid­ing a re­play of 1990, this year’s FA Cup fi­nal will also give the chance for Wil­fried Zaha to prove a point against his for­mer club.

Zaha did not start a sin­gle Premier League game for United af­ter

join­ing the Old Traf­ford club in 2013, but has re­gained some of his best form since re­turn­ing to Palace and was ex­cel­lent in the semi-fi­nal.

“The fi­nal will be a big day for him, of course, be­cause it didn’t work out for him,” said Pardew. “But this guy has un­be­liev­able abil­ity. He’s so young. I spoke to Sir Alex [Fer­gu­son] on Wed­nes­day and he was ask­ing af­ter him. I could tell he was dis­ap­pointed it hadn’t worked out for him be­cause he has Manch­ester United traits – he’s quick and pow­er­ful and can run all day. He needed a bit more ex­pe­ri­ence and he’s get­ting that now.”

De­spite reach­ing the fi­nal, Pardew vowed that he will not sign a new Palace con­tract un­til the team are math­e­mat­i­cally safe from rel­e­ga­tion from the Premier League. The Ea­gles are eight points ahead of third-from-bot­tom Nor­wich City.

“The de­ci­sion I made was I wouldn’t sign it un­til we’re math­e­mat­i­cally safe,” said Pardew. “We have to keep our fo­cus – or I do – to make sure the team is ready for three im­por­tant league games. We need to get our points and then we can en­joy the Cup fi­nal.”

Wat­ford man­ager Quique Sánchez Flores faces an un­cer­tain fu­ture af­ter the semi-fi­nal de­feat and ad­mit­ted that spec­u­la­tion over his po­si­tion did not help prepa­ra­tions.

“I never un­der­stood what hap­pened this week,” said Flores. “Do you think it’s time to talk about the coach? At a semi-fi­nal? It’s time to talk about the play­ers, the club, the fans. It’s not the time to talk about the man­ager.

“I was a lit­tle bit sad that peo­ple de­cided to talk about me. When peo­ple should be com­pletely happy, I don’t un­der­stand why peo­ple are talk­ing in this way. I don’t un­der­stand th­ese kinds of things.”

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