Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew was delighted to see his team progress in the FA Cup after a 1-0 victory over Stoke City at Selhurst Park.
Wilfried Zaha was particularly impressive in scoring the game’s only goal in the 17th minute to lead Palace to defeat Stoke and reach the competition’s last 16, and asked about his team’s chances this season, Pardew responded: “If we can put (our league form) right this week, then I’ll be really looking forward to the second half of the season.
“We definitely need to win one of these next two games, and then we can look forward to the cup.
“I’ve said it before: lesser teams than the quality I have have won this competition in recent years. We’ve got the talent to win it, you need a bit of luck with the draw: we don’t need Man City away, we don’t need Chelsea away, someone at home would be nice.
“Third-time lucky (after experiencing two FA Cup final defeats)? I’m an eternal optimist. I’m always conscious of this competition, I’ve come so close on two occasions, that it’s a strong bond in me to try and win it. This team is every bit as good as that (West Ham) team I took to that final in 2006, but you do need a break here and there.”
One concern for Pardew might be an ankle injury suffered by Yohan Cabaye that forced him to substitute the midfielder, and speaking of the challenge by Stephen Ireland and referee Mark Clattenburg’s refusal to stop play, the manager said: “I thought Mark got that particular situation wrong.
“It was a foul, because (Ireland) came from the side on Yohan. Yohan’s ankle is swollen. We’ll have to wait and see that there’s not permanent damage there.
“Mark realised his mistake, perhaps, because we couldn’t get any treatment to Yohan, I was waiting to get treatment and he was playing the game on, he lost his way a little bit there, but I don’t want to criticise him, it was a tough game to referee.”