Alan Pardew refused to gloat after beating former employers Newcastle but says Crystal Palace were “really on it” in the 5-1 win at Selhurst Park.
The struggling visitors took an early lead through Papiss Cisse but were then blown away thanks to doubles from James McArthur and Yannick Bolasie in addition to a goal from Wilfried Zaha.
Pardew hailed his side for a “pivotal” victory that allows the chance to chase a top-eight Premier League finish.
“They deserve their night out tonight,” Pardew said, sending Palace’s players off to their Christmas celebrations.
“They deserve the success, so I hope they enjoy themselves and then re-focus.
“There’s no extra satisfaction (in beating Newcastle).
“It’s difficult to talk about the opposition, I love the staff and players who are there, and the fans.
“Whatever I say about that club it gets contrived. All I would say is I hope their fortunes improve going forward.
“Our players were really on it today – it was a pivotal game, whoever the opposition was, in our season.
“Were we going to become a mid-table team or were we going to put ourselves back in contention?
“And we’ve put ourselves back in among the Evertons and the Tottenhams.”