Scott Dann is a one of Palace’s game changers. Defensively, the centre-back has not missed a league game this season and has been touted for an England call-up, and offensively, he is joint top scorer with five goals for the club (currently shared with Wilfried Zaha and Yohan Cabaye).
However he can’t do it on his own, and with the team back from a short training break this week in Barcelona, Dann says the players will be doing all they can to get a result in today’s FA Cup clash with Tottenham Hotspur.
“We will throw everything into the game and that’s the way you have to look at it. It’s big for us, you’re getting to the latter stages of the competition and we want to go as far as we can. We know we’ve got to put our league form right but the FA Cup is a competition we really want to do well in and if we can get a good result hopefully the momentum will go into the next league game. Before this recent run we were on a great run, and there’s no reason we can’t go on another one. The last two seasons we’ve finished strongly and we’ll be looking to do that again in the next twelve games. But first we just need to get a win on the board, doesn’t matter in what competition, and then we can concentrate on where we can finish in the league.”
With Emmanuel Adebayor facing his former side there has inevitably been talk about how the player will react to the occasion. During Alan Pardew’s press conference on Friday the manager spoke about the game being an emotional one for the striker, but Dann says Adebayor has been nothing but professional since joining the club and hopes his goal against Watford last weekend is just the start of his scoring account for The Eagles.
“He’s fitted into the group really well and he’s a really nice fella. You hear things and see things in the press but you have to take people as you find them and he’s come in and worked hard, and looks as if he’s enjoying himself. He’s got his first goal now, and we know from the past that he tends to go on little runs where he scores lots of goals so hopefully he can go on that type of run for us. I’m sure he’s looking forward to the game on Sunday, but he doesn’t need to prove anything, we just want him to be on top form.”
Having experienced playing in a Palace side fighting their way out of relegation trouble, to a team competing for European places, Dann believes the unpredictability of the Premier League means no team can expect a stable run of results or a steady position in the league.
“If you want a boring season you don’t play in the Premier League. It shows what a tough league it is when Chelsea struggle and Leicester are top, anyone can beat anyone and we just need to make sure we get back to where we were eight or nine games ago and not worry about the way we play or who scores. It’s been tough to put our finger on, we’ve lost a couple of big players, and we’ve been in a lot of games till the end but have lost because we’re trying to push to get the winner. One thing for sure is we won’t stop working hard on the training pitch - that’s what we’ve been doing and I’m sure we’ll put it right soon.”