The following article appeared in today's Sun newspaper looking ahead to the cup match as Alan Pardew and Ian Wright met up at the training ground.
Alan Pardew has plastered motivational messages around the training ground in a bid to pull off another famous FA Cup victory against Liverpool.
One of them reminds the players that Liverpool have not won at Selhurst Park since 1997, another that they have failed to win 90 per cent of the games in which they have fallen behind.
“It’s psychological stuff for the players to see that opponents like Liverpool are not invincible,” he tells his former Palace teammate Ian Wright in The Sun. “They do have flaws. Sometimes they are difficult to find – especially in a team like Liverpool who are on a great run – but they are there”.
The Palace boss believes his team will benefit from being underdogs: “The Cup brings out in players a kind of freedom. And I set my teams up to go and grasp that opportunity”.
Reminiscing about the famous 4-3 FA Cup semi-final win in 1990, Pardew said he had always believed Palace would win, even when they were 3-2 down. Scoring the winning goal was “a wonderful moment”, and Palace fans still share with him their memories of being at Villa Park that day.
“I hope to give them some more special memories here as a manager”.
Recalling the 9-0 thrashing at Anfield earlier in the 1989-90 season at Anfield, Wright said tears were welling up in his eyes as the goals went in – while Pardew revealed he hadn’t known the score until someone told him after the game. He thought Palace had only lost 7-0!
But the defeat strengthened the team: “There were some tremendous characters, we didn’t suffer fools or take defeats lightly,” said Pardew.
Victory in the semi-final was a defining moment, not just for Palace, but for Liverpool too: “It was probably their last great side. That was probably the start of their decline”.
Wright says that every time he sees Gary O’Reilly he reminds him he was at fault for Manchester United’s equaliser seven minutes from full-time in the 1990 FA Cup Final.
“Had he (sir Alex Ferguson) lost that game he probably would have been sacked,” says Wright.
“Yes and the great United era may never have happened so we can blame Gary Reilly for that too – Sir Alex owes his success to Gary,” jokes Pardew.
You can read Ian Wright’s full interview with Alan Pardew in the Sun or just CLICK HERE