Burnley v Crystal Palace: Pardew underlines importance of 'big game'
Alan Pardew has implored his Crystal Palace players to continue their promising start under his stewardship when they visit fellow Premier League strugglers Burnley.
In his two matches in charge since taking over from Neil Warnock, Pardew has overseen a 4-0 win against Dover Athletic in the FA Cup third round and, more impressively, a 2-1 home triumph over Tottenham last time out.
Palace recovered from falling behind last Saturday as goals from Dwight Gayle and Jason Puncheon earned a first league win since November, lifting the team to 15th in the table.
Saturday's visit to Turf Moor sees Palace take on Sean Dyche's Burnley, who climbed out of the bottom three last weekend with a 2-1 home victory of their own, against QPR.
With the Selhurst Park faithful in buoyant mood following the win over Spurs, Pardew wants Palace to focus fully on the trip to Lancashire.
"I've tried to make it clear to the players that [Tottenham] was a much needed result but now it's Burnley who are in great form," he said in a media conference on Thursday.
"They have had results similar to our own and it's a really big game for them and for us.
"He [Dyche] has instilled a great attitude down there, attitude and commitment but no shortage of skill either. That's one of the reasons why you come out of the Championship.
"You don't get average teams coming up from the Championship but we need to put those feelings aside and concentrate on beating them."
Pardew has no fresh injury worries and striker Yaya Sanogo could be in line to make his debut after this week completing a loan move from Arsenal.
Dyche, meanwhile, made five changes to his regular starting XI for the 4-2 defeat at Spurs in the FA Cup third-round replay on Wednesday.
Sam Vokes came through 90 minutes for the first time since a serious knee injury sustained in March, but first-choice attacking duo of Danny Ings and Ashley Barnes are expected to return at the weekend, with Dyche set to name the same side for an eighth league match in succession.
Matt Taylor (Achilles) remains a doubt, while Stephen Ward (ankle) and Kevin Long (knee) are longer-term absentees.
Ahead of the game, Dyche has praised the instant impact that Pardew has made at Palace since joining from Newcastle United.
The Burnley boss said: "I thought Alan did a very good job at Newcastle in some tough times there - challenging times for many different reasons.
"He has taken on a new challenge at Palace, where he is very well thought of, and got off to a really good start."
The sides played out a goalless draw when they met at Selhurst Park back in September, with Scott Arfield guilty of missing an 85th-minute penalty for Burnley.