Belfast Telegraph

Pardew wants England nod for Palace

Alan Pardew wants his Crystal Palace players to follow Harry Kane into the England squad.

Striker Kane, 21, on Thursday received his first call-up for the games against Lithuania and Italy at the end of the month following his stunning form for Tottenham this season.

Palace's English stars Scott Dann, Joel Ward and Wilfried Zaha have all impressed since Pardew took over in January and the Eagles boss would love the club to be represented at international level.

"There's not been too many in recent years, it would be nice to get a player in that squad," said the Selhurst Park boss.

"But sometimes, when your team has just been promoted and you are in your second year, you haven't really got the foundations yet to be proven at that level.

"Our boys are fighting for their status. You need to gain your status, and to be fair to Harry Kane he has done that really fast at a big club, and that's difficult to do so hats off to him.

"Let's hope we can produce someone of that ilk because he is a really good example to every young player up and down the country."

Many observers feel Dann is the closest to a call-up, but the 28-year-old missed out this time around with Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling ahead of him in the centre-half pecking order.

Pardew has no doubt about his quality and added: "He's coming into his prime age as a centre-half and he has a lot of experience under his belt at this level.

"He plays with an honesty in every minute of every game. He has been very impressive since I've been here.

"His confidence is high - he hit a pass out to our left winger last weekend that Glenn Hoddle would have been proud of - so he's got that going for him at the moment and long may it continue."

Pardew will check on the fitness of Zaha and Jason Puncheon ahead of Saturday's trip to Stoke after both picked up knocks against QPR last weekend.

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