Ahead of today’s clash between with Chelsea at Selhurst Park, Alan Pardew has claimed that the Blues will now struggle to break into the top six, regardless of how well they do between now and May.
After making a terrible start to the current campaign under Jose Mourinho, Chelsea appear to be regaining a degree of stability under newly installed boss Guus Hiddink, but after enduring such a disasterous first half, Pardew feels they’ve left themselves too much to do to break into the European places.
It could well be a simple attempt at kidology from a manager who knows that his squad are struggling and in need of a boost ahead of the defending Premier League champions.
With the weather set to be horrible at Selhurst this afternoon, it will require a serious amount of hard graft from either team to secure all three points, but with a comment like that, the Palace boss will hope to have got under the skin of Chelsea’s players.
Even with our ever-growing injury list, the game is anything but a foregone conclusion, with the team currently on a six game unbeaten run and desperate to regain fifth place after it was snatched away from us by Manchester United yesterday afternoon.
If Pardew’s words here have any impact on the minds of Chelsea’s players we can be thankful, ahead of what is set to be a real war of attrition in South London. Win it, and it will rank amongst the best results in Alan Pardew’s first year in charge; lose and we may well light the blue touch paper for an assault on the top six from Hiddink’s men.