Alan Pardew makes honest admission regarding Crystal Palace's next fortnight

Alan Pardew

The Eagles boss admits that he and his players are having difficulty keeping their focus on the league.

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has admitted, as quoted by the Daily Mail, that he and his players are finding it difficult to remain focused on the Premier League with the FA Cup final just two weeks away.

The Eagles face Manchester United in their first cup final since 1990 on 21 May after an impressive cup run which has seen them defeat Southampton, Stoke City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Reading before beating Watford 2-1 in the semi-final at Wembley last month.

Before that big occasion, though, the London club still have two Premier League fixtures against the Potters and the Saints to contend with.

Although they are very unlikely to go down Palace are not yet mathematically safe from relegation, and must ensure that they get the remaining points they need to secure their top-flight place for next season.

Palace lost 1-0 at struggling Newcastle in their only league fixture so far after their first Wembley appearance, and Pardew has admitted that it is a struggle for his side to maintain their efforts in the league campaign with the cup final looming.

The Eagles boss said, as quoted by the Daily Mail: "It's not easy to keep minds off the cup, because for our level it's a unique position for a lot of the players, so it's an adjustment.

"Some of us who have been here before know how to treat it, but for others it's difficult. The focus has definitely slipped in the league and you can't argue with that.

"I've got to put a team out that's focused to win, and that's important. It's a great thing to look forward to, there's real excitement about the place and we've got a job to do this Saturday."

A home victory over Stoke tomorrow afternoon would guarantee the Eagles' survival, although they can still be mathematically safe if they lose as long as other results go their way.

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