Stuart O’Keefe has challenged his Palace teammates to take seven points from the club’s next three Premier League games.
The Eagles face a trip to Norwich City on Saturday, before welcoming West Ham and Cardiff City to Selhurst Park in an eight-day period that could prove to be a turning point in the club’s season.
It’s a fact that hasn’t escaped O’Keefe, who believes Palace should aim to get through the trio of key fixtures unbeaten against fellow bottom half sides.
He said: “We’re looking at this run as a chance to get points on the board. We got a great win at Hull and drew against Everton before that, so going into these three games there’s no reason why we can’t win them.
“If we can pick up points there, that will give us a great chance going into the Christmas period. People thought we were down and out before the Everton game, particularly after the way we lost to Fulham, but we’ve picked up four points from the last two games and with these fixtures coming up it will be interesting. If we can win a couple of these games there’s no reason why we can’t have a real good go.
“It’s all about the teams around us that you need to beat. If we can take the maximum or if not seven points from these games, we can give ourselves a real fighting chance.
“It’s going to be a hard time over Christmas with City and Chelsea coming up, so it’s a massive three games for us over the next two weeks.”
The appointment of new manager Tony Pulis has added further impetus to Palace’s survival bid and O’Keefe’s first impressions of the new gaffer have been good.
He said: “Monday was the first time I’d met him. He’s a man who knows what he wants to do. He’s the kind of person who’s not going to take any rubbish from anyone, he’s here to do a job and I’m sure with him at the top we’ve given ourselves the best chance possible.
“We’ve got a group of players here that Tony needs to work with, at least until January anyway, and he just wants everyone to work as hard as they can and give everything. But that’s a given in football as far as I’m concerned – you give all you’ve got and what will be will be. If you give him everything, he’ll stand by you.
“You could see against Everton and Hull the fire that’s in the camp. It’s far from a lost cause, the boys are desperate to stay in the league and it could just be that fighting spirit to keep us up come the end of the season.”