Palace defender Scott Dann has suggested that Stoke City are the side that the Eagles will be looking to emulate over the next couple of seasons if they are to establish themselves in the top-flight.
The centre-back will travel to Staffordshire today with his teammates ahead of their encounter with the Potters tomorrow at the Britannia Stadium, and with a third consecutive season in the Premier League within touching distance for Alan Pardew's side, Dann feels that Mark Hughes' men are a perfect example to follow having already booked their place in the top tier for an eighth consecutive year thanks to a stellar season this term.
He said: “Each year they've improved as the squad's improved and they've gone from strength to strength. This season they've gone unnoticed but are sitting eighth in the league on 42 points so I think that's a great total for them with nine games to go.
“They're the types of team that we need to be looking up to and hopefully we can keep on improving and moving up the league year after year.
“Considering where we were a couple of months ago when the manager first came in down near the bottom things we've managed to get ourselves in a fairly decent position.
“The most important thing is trying to beat the teams around you and in the past couple of weeks we've managed to do that - they're the most important games. Any other wins you pick up along the way are an added bonus but the win against Queens Park Rangers was a massive one for us and lifted us a lot further away from them.
“We know we've still got work to do but we're in a good position with a decent points total at this stage, whereas a couple of weeks ago we were maybe looking below us trying to get away. Now we can afford to look above us and try and chase to teams down, we're just a couple of points behind Newcastle and West Ham too so they're the teams we're looking towards.”
There should be a noisy atmosphere tomorrow with two of the loudest sets of fans in the Premier League in attendance, and historically the Britannia Stadium has been a fortress for the Potters as they have developed during their stint in the top-flight, and Dann admits it's one of the more difficult away days in the fixture list.
“It is a tough game, I think it goes back to when Tony Pulis was the manager.” he explained. “They had a really good home record and won the majority of their games there, no matter who they played.
“They've got a good set of fans behind them, as we do at Selhurst, and when the fans are behind you it does give you a big lift and gives you that extra push in helping to put out a better performance.
“It was always a difficult place to go and it hasn't changed really. Since Mark Hughes has gone there he's pushed them on even further and they're in a good position themselves, but we're going into the game with confidence and hopefully we can get a result there.”