I want to make up for United defeat in 1990
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  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.”