Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew believes the Eagles’ relationship with their players means none of his key men will depart during the January transfer window.
Palace face Southampton on Saturday in the third round of the FA Cup with Pardew hoping his side can go on an extended run in the competition and continue to perform well in the Premier League, where they currently sit seventh.
Pardew is well aware that losing some of their star names this month could seriously harm their prospects on both fronts, and believes the work done behind the scenes should ensure no one vital to the club’s cause walks away mid-season.
“One of the reasons we gave them the contracts was to say: ‘We want to keep your heart and your mind here’,” Pardew said.
“So, there haven’t really been too many rumours about our players going out and I hope it stays like that because sometimes it is fuelled by a player’s agent.
“The fact of it is that we are pretty confident that we will keep all of our best players here. One or two players who are not playing may move on if the bid is right, for sure.”
The 54-year-old has openly expressed a love for the FA Cup throughout his career as a player and a manager and believes that, despite a difficult draw, the Eagles have a chance of going far in the competition this season.
He said: “Growing up with the FA Cup it was something that was very important to me.
“You look at the chances of actually winning a trophy for the manager. Trying to win the Premier League with a club of our size is very, very difficult, so the FA Cup and the League Cup is something which is massive to me, massive for our fans and massive for our players and the club who are having a great season, so we are going to try and get a cup run.
“We would have liked an easier draw, Southampton away is not particularly easy but we are looking forward to it.
“We have got 5,000 fans going down and we have a responsibility to them to make sure that we are very strong.
“They have an outstanding manager (Ronald Koeman) and great players but the team is up and down a bit at the moment.
“They have a couple of injuries and a suspension but make no mistake – I have managed down there. That crowd makes a difference, it will be a great occasion.”
Pardew reached the final as a player with Crystal Palace in 1990 and as a manager with West Ham in 2006 but has never had the glory of lifting the trophy and that is something he hopes to change.
“It is a competition I love. To be part of that folklore of winning is something that has just missed me on two occasions,” he said.
“On the third occasion I hope it doesn’t. You need a bit of luck.
“When I got to the final with Palace our draw was fairly easy if I’m honest, we capitalised. This draw is tough and we have to come through it, we are going to try to put it right.”