Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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Palace boss Alan Pardew puts emphasis on scoring goals

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew will not curb his side's attacking instincts despite leaking goals at the other end.

The Eagles head to Tottenham on Sunday flying high in sixth place, but they have yet to keep a clean sheet this season.

However, Pardew has no intention of tightening up at the back at the expense of rattling in the goals at the other end of the pitch.

"On a professional level, the lack of clean sheets does concern me a little bit but I can still cope with winning 3-2 or 4-3," he said.

"The bottom line is I want this team to always think about scoring goals. If you are of that mindset then you can't switch to really focusing on a clean sheet.

"If we'd lost three games on the trot then maybe we'd start focusing on a clean sheet and start building from there, but we have got good momentum and a good feeling. Our players are smiley and happy and we will go out and try to take the game to Spurs."

Leicester, another team making an encouraging start to the season, have also yet to manage a shut-out, prompting manager Claudio Ranieri to offer his players a pizza for a clean sheet.

But Pardew added: "We're not really at the top of the tree for pizzas in this area here. Although a kebab or a burger might go down well if we keep a clean sheet.

"I don't want to take the ambition out of the team. The problem when I arrived was that the ambition had gone out of the team. We managed to put that right so I'm not going to take it away now.

"Clean sheets are important for results. If we'd got one last week against Manchester City we'd have been very pleased and we were a minute away from achieving it.

"We mustn't dwell on that and we'll try to score two goals at Spurs if we can."

Pardew could welcome back Damien Delaney, Joe Ledley and Connor Wickham, who all missed the last-gasp 1-0 defeat by City through injury.

However, full-back Joel Ward remains sidelined by a knee injury and forward Marouane Chamakh is out with hamstring trouble.

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