Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew wants to finish above Newcastle

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew

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Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has set his sights on finishing above old club Newcastle United this season.

The former Magpies boss has led Palace to five victories in his nine games in charge since being appointed Neil Warnock’s successor in January. That run included Saturday’s impressive 3-1 home victory over struggling QPR, a win that leaves Pardew’s side 12th in the table and eight points clear of relegation.

While his return to Selhurst Park has been a heroic one so far, Pardew insists his side are not yet clear of avoiding the drop. He is, however, targeting a push up the table, with old club Newcastle just two points above Palace in 11th.

“Mathematically of course we’re not safe but were in a great position and we would have snapped someone’s hand off for this position at this stage, whoever the manager was,” he said.

“I said to the players when I arrived to look above because if you look below – anxiety, pressure – you can’t play like that, so we will look to Newcastle, whoever’s above us. We’re above Everton, that’s a bit of a goal for us – can we stay above them?

“I think 11th, 12th is top of the league for this club, where we are at the moment.”

Palace can continue their climb up the Premier League table by making it back-to-back league wins when they visit Stoke City next weekend.

Pardew’s side are 3.24 to win at the Britannia Stadium, while Stoke are valued at 2.09 and a draw is 3.20.

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