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McArthur: We Believe We Can Beat Anyone

16 April 2015

Midfielder James McArthur has spoken about the current good run of form being enjoyed by all at Crystal Palace, ahead of this weekend's match with West Bromwich Albion, stating that the squad feel like they can beat anyone at the moment.

The Baggies, managed by former Eagles boss Tony Pulis, travel to Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon to face a Palace side in superb form.

Palace have won five of their last six, losing the other, whilst West Brom have lost four of their previous five outings in the Premier League, coming to south London in opposite form to the Eagles.

McArthur has been key to Palace during his debut season with the club, but has credited manager Alan Pardew - and the way the squad has evolved under the new boss - with helping inspire the run that has seen them soar to mid-table in the top flight.

"Right now we're playing with great belief," he said. 

"The manager's got us playing so many different ways and I think that's important, it's not just robotic. We don't play in one certain way, we can play football, we can go long, we can do different things, and I think now Premier League teams don't know what Crystal Palace are going to be doing and I think that's great."

McArthur stressed what a difference the new manager has made since joining at the turn of the year, admitting that he may get it in the neck from his teammates for speaking so highly of the manager!

"I think a few of the boys will give me a bit of stick for this, but I think the manager's been a big influence on us," he continued. 

"He's got us playing the right ways, he's brought that aggression to a team where we want to go up the park, we want to attack and press from the front. He's a winner, he has great ambitions really. Before I think everyone was looking [and thinking] 'Crystal Palace are down', but the manager's really, really turned it round here."

"It's just amazing to think about Crystal Palace right now [compared to] where we were maybe fifteen, sixteen games ago. To think of a top ten finish is unbelievable and it shows you how much hard work has gone into it.

The Scotland international also spoke of the belief within the squad at present, suggesting that the Eagles' first-team currently feels invincible, having claimed the scalp of reigning Premier League champions Manchester City in their previous home game, before thumping Sunderland at the Stadium of Light last weekend.

"Confidence. Everyone's really buzzing off it right now. Everyone believes we can beat anyone, we know we've got West Brom this week and it's going to be a tough match," he said, looking ahead to the Baggies' impending visit to SE25. 

"I think it's one of the games where we're favourites maybe, but we're going to need to do everything within our capabilities to try and win that match. It's going to be so tough, Tony Pulis has obviously managed here and he knows the way we play, so it's going to be a right old battle."

"I don't think so," he said, about the possibility of Pulis receiving a hostile welcome for his first return to Palace. "I think he's done a fantastic job. Last year I think everybody thought Crystal Palace were going to be relegated and he came and I'm sure he got Manager of the Year. To get Manager of the Year at Crystal Palace just shows the job he did, I don't think he needs to prove much more to the Crystal Palace fans. He'll want to come and get a win, but we'll be trying to get the three points ourselves.

"They've got quality all the way through the side, but you've obviously got to look at their strikers really. Berahino's playing really well, he's scoring goals and on his day he can be a real handful, so we'll need to make sure we look after him. But you need to with every single Premier League team, everyone's got quality throughout their side and we need to just make sure we do the right things and we'll be fine.

"We're looking forward to it, we're looking forward to every single match and that's what happens when you're winning games. You want that game the next day, you want to keep that winning mentality and momentum and keep pushing each other."

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