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Eagles will soar to the next level with victory: Thomas

By Tom Allnutt

Published 21/05/2016

Geoff Thomas while at Crystal Palace
Geoff Thomas while at Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace will be able to attract a different calibre of player if they can win the FA Cup and qualify for the Europa League, says former captain Geoff Thomas.

Palace take on Manchester United at Wembley today in a re-run of the 1990 final when Thomas was captain and his side lost a dramatic replay 1-0.

Eagles manager Alan Pardew was also playing that day and will be hoping to exact revenge this weekend, with not only a major trophy at stake but also European football next season.

United have already secured a place in the Europa League by finishing fifth, but Palace must still win the FA Cup to qualify themselves.

Thomas, who played at Selhurst Park between 1987 and 1993, believes European status would help Pardew take Palace to a new level next term.

"It would give Palace European football and that will give Alan Pardew scope to get a different kind of player," Thomas said. "Leicester have proved it's not all about names. It's about a squad of players willing to work hard together but European football definitely allows him to go into a different pool of players.

"We've seen in the past sides have got into Europe and struggled because of the extra games but with the money now squads can be big enough to cope. I think Palace would embrace it."

Meanwhile, Uefa have opened disciplinary proceedings against Liverpool and Sevilla following the Europa League final in Basel on Wednesday night.

The charges laid against Liverpool, who lost 3-1, are for crowd disturbances and the setting off of fireworks, and Sevilla for crowd disturbances and the throwing of objects.

The case will be dealt with by Uefa's control, ethics and disciplinary body on July 21.

Liverpool are already facing Uefa disciplinary action following their Europa League ties against Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund.

They were charged with illicit chanting, setting off fireworks, throwing objects and general crowd disturbances against United. United were also charged with crowd disturbances and throwing objects, in addition to blocked stairways. The Reds were charged for fans letting off fireworks in the first leg of the quarter-final in Dortmund.

Belfast Telegraph

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