Belfast Telegraph

Jones upbeat ahead of Palace clash

David Jones is confident Burnley's self-belief will be more than a match for Crystal Palace's when the relegation battlers meet at Turf Moor on Saturday.

Since Alan Pardew was appointed manager, Palace have thumped non-league Dover in the FA Cup and come from a goal down to defeat Tottenham in the Premier League.

They sit level on 20 points with Burnley just above the relegation zone, and the match is a golden chance for one of the teams to put distance between themselves and the bottom three.

It is a second successive meeting with a team around them for Burnley, who defeated QPR 2-1 last weekend to make it three games unbeaten in the league.

After struggling for goals earlier in the season, they have scored seven in those three games, fighting back from behind to draw with Manchester City and Newcastle prior to the QPR victory.

Midfielder Jones said: "Over Christmas we were down a few times in games and came back really well against strong teams.

"Not only did we get points from those games, it gives you an inner belief that you can do it against anybody. If you can go to the Etihad and come back from 2-0 down, then you can do it against anyone.

"We're scoring goals and looking confident at the moment, and we want to continue that."

Jones knows there will be an extra edge to the game because of the position of the two teams but he believes that can play into Burnley's hands.

He said: "You don't want teams around you to be getting three points from you and making a gap between you and them, so for that reason there does seem more importance but we'll be approaching it the same way we do for every game: giving our all as a team, working really hard and seeing where we are at the end of it.

"You can't guarantee anything but we think with our performance and energy levels at home we're a match for anybody and we'll be looking forward to it.

"They had a good result last week and they'll be confident, but we want to embrace the challenge and it's a good opportunity. In our group, we've all got that mentality."

Manager Sean Dyche is hopeful he will have key defensive duo Kieran Trippier and Jason Shackell available.

Trippier came off against Spurs after feeling his hamstring while captain Shackell missed the game because of a calf problem.

Crystal Palace manager Pardew will challenge Wilfried Zaha to show why Manchester United paid £15million for the forward when the Eagles travel to Burnley.

Eagles boss Pardew has vowed to raise Zaha's "profile and spirit" with the 21-year-old on a season-long loan back at first senior club Palace.

Substitute Zaha laid on Jason Puncheon's winner in Palace's 2-1 Premier League victory over Tottenham last weekend in an influential cameo.

New Palace boss Pardew admitted it must be tough going for Zaha to be back for a second loan stint at Selhurst Park since joining United in January 2013.

"I intend to have a word with him," said Pardew, ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Turf Moor.

"He's an important player.

"In terms of finding himself at perhaps the biggest club in the world bar one or two, and not getting an opportunity and having to come back to his former club - I think that's difficult.

"Mentally I think that's difficult for a young player.

"So I feel sorry for him, a little bit.

"And I'll do my best to raise his profile and spirit for us, and for Manchester United because I'm sure they've got one eye on him hopefully still to be a success for them."

Loan signing Yaya Sanogo could make his Palace debut.

The Arsenal striker will face competition to start up front from fit-again Marouane Chamakh, while midfielder James McArthur has beaten his foot problem.


From Belfast Telegraph