Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew is targeting European qualification following his side’s impressive start to the season.
The Eagles are currently sixth in the Premier League table after collecting 29 points from their opening 17 matches, and they are level on points with both fifth-place Manchester United and Tottenham, who currently occupy fourth position.
Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Stoke extended the south London club’s current unbeaten run to four matches and Pardew believes the team’s main priority is to cement a top-six finish at the very least this season.
He told reporters: “We’ve got ourselves into sixth position and we want to fight and stay there, that’s really our priority. But to fight there means you have to look up, and we’re looking up, and that’s the type of manager I am.”
The 54-year-old believes it is refreshing to see the likes of Palace and league leaders Leicester challenging at the right end of the standings, and he is convinced he has the quality within his starting XI to compete with the very best teams in the division.
He said: “We were all beginning to worry three or four years ago that it looked like the gap was only going to get bigger, and ironically it hasn’t, and for all the money that’s being spent, we’re getting the quality of 11 players on the pitch that are not too far away from some of the top teams.”
Palace will be hoping to continue their impressive run of form in their next match against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday. The Eagles are on offer at 2.88 to win the match, whilst the Cherries are available at 2.50 and the draw is best priced at 3.30.