Alan Pardew has revealed the “weight of history” he feels to end Crystal Palace’s 111-year wait for a major trophy.
The Eagles are set to take on Manchester United in Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley, but are massive underdogs.
Pardew was a player when Palace last made it this far in the competition, losing to United in 1990 in a replay after the first match finished 3-3 after extra-time.
Steve Coppell, Palace’s manager at the time and a former United player, has been recruited to help Pardew scout the Red Devils before Saturday’s fixture, while Alan Smith, Coppell’s assistant and successor, has also been on hand for advice.
Pardew said: “I feel the weight of the history of not winning something.
“We take one final which we lost into the game, so this group of players have an opportunity to put something permanent there – a first major trophy for Crystal Palace.
“One or two of these players will never play in a final again and this is an opportunity to get a winner’s medal, which is so hard. Like the Leicester players, winning the FA Cup would mean the same for us.
“Steve Coppell was here; I’ve leant on him in a couple of bits. I’ve spoken to Alan Smith, looked at the history of 1990 and of the history since. It’s a club with a certain DNA. It would be good for the club and for our history for us to win something.
“(There was a) great camaraderie in that (1990) group. I hope this group has that same ongoing history as we had. We’re all very close friends, it bonded us. It made this club to a degree, that cup final.
“Friendships – I’d prefer those friendships to have carried through as winners. That’s the message I’ll give to my players.”