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Crystal Palace with injury worries ahead of FA Cup final

Alan Pardew has worries over several Crystal Palace starters for the FA Cup final Credit: AP

Crystal Palace are overseeing a minor injury crisis in the build-up to Saturday's FA Cup final against Manchester United, but manager Alan Pardew is confident his team will be close to fully fit come kick-off.

The Eagles boss rested Wilfried Zaha, Wayne Hennessey and Scott Dann in the final Premier League game of the season at the weekend and opted not to not risk Yohan Cabaye, Yannick Bolasie and Connor Wickham, who had minor knocks.

Joe Ledley will definitely miss out because of a fractured fibula that could yet end his hopes of appearing for Wales at Euro 2016 but, beyond him, the potential absences of Wickham and Cabaye have left Pardew concerned.

The manager also suggested that Emmanuel Adebayor could be in line to replace Wickham if the English forward didn't recover.

We had so many missing and we rested Scotty Dann, but Connor was missing for a knock, we're a little bit worried about him, Cabaye had a knock and we were worried about him.

Zaha looks okay but we couldn't risk him. We had a few problems going into this game, I'm hoping they'll all clear themselves up. They usually do, cup final week, I find. Hopefully that'll be the case.

We can look forward to the preparation, and the attention, that's going to come to this fixture, and then we've got to win it, and that's what we'll try and do.

(Emmanuel Adebayor's) been great for us, so we'll wait and see if he's going to start; Connor's injury, who knows, he may start. We'll have to wait.

– Alan Pardew

Pardew tells Adebayor he has two games to convince him

Adebayor has two games to impress. Credit: PA

Alan Pardew has told Emmanuel Adebayor he has two games with which to convince him he deserves a new contract.

The striker joined Crystal Palace as a free agent during the January transfer window and has contributed only one goal towards them securing their Premier League status and reaching next week's FA Cup final against Manchester United.

He arrived on a short-term contract until the end of the season with the option of a further 12 months but though a high-profile player, he will not learn his fate until the season is over.

Pardew has already spoken of his plans to strengthen Palace's squad in the summer, and Marouane Chamakh is expected to leave when his contract expires, but regarding 32-year-old Adebayor the manager said: "He's been a good character around this place, he's won trophies.

"He hasn't had a lot of starts but we have still got two big, big games to go (against Southampton on Sunday and against United in the Cup).

"The decision we make on Ade will be on these two big games. I think he has still got a big part to play as he's a top player."

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England coach Jones motivates Crystal Palace

Eddie Jones knows how to motivate. Credit: PA

England rugby head coach Eddie Jones on Thursday visited Crystal Palace to give Alan Pardew's team a motivational talk for their season run-in that concludes with the FA Cup final.

Palace on May 21 face Manchester United at Wembley Stadium but before then have a further three Premier League fixtures that could yet end with them in the bottom three.

Though it would take an unlikely run of results to relegate them, a return to the Championship remains a mathematical possibility, and in an attempt to maintain his team's focus for Saturday's trip to his former club Newcastle, Pardew invited Jones to share his experiences with Palace's players.

We're still not mathematically safe in the Premier League, so we still have work to do, which is why I asked Eddie Jones to come in, and he had a few words with the team about complacency and about what teams do.

He's been involved in World Cups with other nations, a multi-cutural personality, someone who is engaging. If they can't take on board his comments then we're in trouble.

We share a couple of professional friends. (Palace sports psychologist) Jeremy Snape is one of those, and Eddie asked me about the England rugby team.

We've been quite close since he's been here, and a lot of the views he has on trying to get more from individual players and the group run parallel with my own. Trying to get the best out of his ideas is nice for me.

It was nice to have him here: good timing, what with the result we had (defeating Watford 2-1 in Sunday's semi-final).

– Alan Pardew

Referee announced for Man United v Palace final

Mark Clattenburg will be in charge of the final. Credit: PA

Mark Clattenburg will referee this year's FA Cup final between Manchester United and Crystal Palace, the Football Association announced on Thursday.

The 41-year-old has been officiating in the Barclays Premier League for over a decade but this will be his first time in charge of the Wembley showpiece event.

I think every referee who hasn't refereed the Cup final works hard every season to hopefully referee one of the most prestigious and important cup finals in the world.

You set yourself goals at the start of the season, and mine was to referee in The FA Cup final. It's an honour and a massive achievement.

It came out of the blue. These days you get told of what games you're doing by text, but when you see a call coming in from The FA referees' department you know it's important.

I remember watching Manchester United and Crystal Palace and the tradition of these two teams 26 years ago and that famous game - it's amazing how these games relive. Hopefully it will be as good as it was all those years ago.

– Mark Clattenburg

Pardew set to sign new Crystal Palace deal

Alan Pardew has taken Palace to the FA Cup final. Credit: PA

Alan Pardew may have guided Crystal Palace to the FA Cup final but he is still not ready to sign a new contract at Selhurst Park.

Goals in each half from Yannick Bolasie and Connor Wickham secured a 2-1 win over Watford and a return to Wembley to face Manchester United next month.

But Pardew, who has agreed in principle to a contract extension, is still delaying putting pen to paper until Palace have confirmed their survival in the Premier League.

No, I'm not ready to sign yet because the decision I made was that I wouldn't sign it until we're mathematically safe.

We have to keep our focus and ensure the team is ready for three important league games. We need to get the points, and then we can enjoy the cup final.

– Alan Pardew
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