Alan Pardew has repeatedly spoken of a belief that much of that disappointing run is a consequence of the absence of the injured Yannick Bolasie, and while he refused to confirm if he will be back on Sunday, as had been expected, he spoke of new signing Emmanuel Adebayor’s desire to impress against his former team and of his confidence he can inspire victory.
“We are fired up and motivated for him,” said Pardew of a player widely remembered for his performance and provocative celebrations in 2009 when scoring for Manchester City in a defeat of Arsenal, the team he had recently left.
“We know it will be Adebayor. It will bring his personality and he will bring quality to the pitch. Spurs fans know that, I don’t have to tell them that.
“Cheer him or boo him, whatever they will do, that is part and parcel of the game, part of the fabric of what we love about football. He will cope with the highs and the lows of the game.
“We want to put a performance on for him, that gives him the best possible standing to bring his best game to the pitch. If he brings his best game to the pitch he can win it.”
ardew has criticised the Football Association’s scheduling of the FA Cup, reiterating his belief their organisation of the competition undermines it and that it also leaves the players involved “at risk”.
Crystal Palace visit Tottenham in the FA Cup’s fifth round on Sunday, knowing a draw would extend their fixture list at a defining point in their season and also hamper Spurs, who are competing to win both the Premier League and the Europa League.
In the event of a replay they would likely meet again on March 8 – two days after Palace host Liverpool in the league and two before Spurs could compete in the Europa League – unless Palace’s concerns are acknowledged and the schedule changed.
Having last month also said the timing of the FA Cup’s third round “devalues” a competition of which he is obviously fond and which he is this season determined to win, Pardew revealed “discussions” were ongoing regarding a potential change of date, and said: “I’d hate to see (replays) go, although the scheduling of them looks poor, for whatever reason that is.
“Between the FA and the Premier League, they need to sit down. We are talking about the replay date for this game, and wow, it looks complicated to me. It’s definitely complicated for Spurs.
“So both managers would prefer it to get this job done on Sunday. The game is not like that. The replay is in the rules, we’re going to have to deal with that when it turns up.
“Perhaps a little bit of foresight should have been there at the start of this season on the scheduling with some of these replays.
“I don’t think it has been confirmed yet. There are discussions going on. The scenario looks like a two-day break for us and Spurs. Of course, myself and the Spurs manager (Mauricio Pochettino) don’t think that’s ideal.
“We are putting our players at risk. That is not enough recovery time given the amount of effort and capacity we have to play at in the current game.”
Palace’s only victories since December 19 have come in the Cup, away at Southampton and at home to Stoke.
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