ALAN PARDEW says Sunderland should be more concerned about his in-form Crystal Palace side than his past as Newcastle manager this weekend.
Palace beat Manchester City on Monday night and have ambitions of finishing in the Premier League’s top 10 this season.
Irrespective of my reception, it’s about the 11 players on the pitch and Sunderland fans know that we’re in really good formAlan Pardew
Pardew was the first Newcastle boss to suffer four successive defeats to Sunderland, who last weekend won a fifth Tyne-Wear derby in a row, but is now only thinking about Palace.
“We’re going there in great form. The stadium will be wary of us, the 11 players on the pitch,” Pardew said.
“Irrespective of my reception, it’s about the 11 players on the pitch and Sunderland fans know that we’re in really good form.
“The group is on a high. We have a different type of game this Saturday and we need to make the adjustment quickly.”
Pardew arrived at Selhurst Park in January with top-flight survival the target.
Performances and results have surpassed expectations, but Pardew insists the Eagles must stick to the characteristics which have seen them soar to 11th place in the table.
“It is now about trying to keep our professionalism and keep on the process of what’s been winning us games,” Pardew added.
“We haven’t set an outcome target, in terms of points we’re going to get, but we have talked about the standards that we’ve set and that we need to maintain those.
“If we maintain them, then our position might surprise a few.
“We’re three points away from the top 10 so of course it is (a realistic target).”
Pardew believes Palace players will be viewed in a more favourable light when it comes to international honours.
He said: “All our players are going to be looked at in a kinder manner, or through a different lens to how they’ve been looked at - and so they should be.
“Our form is as good as the top three or four clubs in the country and therefore they should receive the plaudits for what they’re doing. That would be only what they deserve.”
Mile Jedinak could come straight in after his four-game suspension as midfielder Joe Ledley is a doubt with a hip injury.
Pardew added: “Joe Ledley’s got a slight strain and we’ll have to monitor that.
“He’s been exceptional since I’ve been here, so we’ll give him every opportunity to play.”
Pardew, after four years as Newcastle boss, knows Sunderland well and was not surprised the Black Cats turned to former Rangers and Holland boss Dick Advocaat.
“I think it was a great move for them to have someone of his experience at this time and he’s proving that,” Pardew added.
“It’s fair to say they’ve gone a little bit more direct, a little bit more positive.
“They have some good players and it’s always a difficult place to go.
“I don’t think we’re under an illusions. It’s a team coming off the back of a great victory (beating Newcastle 1-0) and they will be buoyed for our game.”