Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew thinks his side current side can match his Newcastle team that finished fifth three years ago.
Pardew was in bullish mood after Palace saw off a defensively-minded West Brom 2-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday lunchtime to move into third place ahead of Saturday’s later games.
Pardew moulded an impressive attacking Newcastle side in 2011/12, which contained Papiss Cisse, Demba Ba and current Palace schemer Yohan Cabaye and the man – tipped by opposite number Tony Pulis to be a future England boss – is building a similar side in south London.
“It’s only very early in the season, but you have periods of form,” Pardew told BT Sport.
“We’re in form and we’ll have to see how long we can sustain that, but I can compare this team to the teams I had twice at Newcastle.
“One that finished fifth and the other that was going well up until Christmas.
“This is a team that can be as good as that team.”
“It’s just about consistency and if Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie and can play to the level they played today every week then we’ll have a chance.”
Cabaye held the key as he crossed for Bolasie to head home before converting his second penalty in six days.
The France international joined the Eagles in the summer in what was seen as a major coup as he moved from Paris Saint-Germain for a club-record fee.
“We approached the game knowing what to expect and we knew we needed to be patient, we played in a controlled manner,” Pardew said.
“You need someone like Cabaye to orchestrate that and I thought he was great today in everything he did.
“He created the goal at a stage we were starting to worry on the bench and potentially looking for changes.
“I know his character and he knew he wasn’t going to be accepting what was happening at PSG, he wasn’t getting a fair opportunity and he needed someone to trust.
“He wants to play for his national side at the Euros. I hope everyone in France was watching him today because he was excellent.”