Pardew: Saints are a team we aspire to emulate

By SFC Media time Fri 11 Dec Club

Former Saints boss Alan Pardew believes Ronald Koeman’s side are a team that his current club Crystal Palace should aspire to be like.

Pardew will come up against his former club once again on Saturday looking to end Palace’s run of seven straight league defeats against Saints.

Saints currently sit 12th in the Barclays Premier League, while Pardew’s Eagles are two points and six places ahead of Koeman’s men in sixth.

And Pardew believes his side, along with Saints, are among a group of teams just behind the top clubs in the division.

“You’ve got Southampton, Stoke and West Ham who are in the same group as us now,” said Pardew at his press conference ahead of Saturday’s game.

“Do we say our dream is tenth? Our dreams are better than that, but we need to back it up in the second half of the season.

“Southampton are still a very good side – well managed, good organisation and a team that we aspire to.

“2015 has been a fantastic year for us. If we can match this year I’ll be happy. If we do, I think we could end up in the top six.

“If we win on [on Saturday] we’re sixth. It’s as simple as that. Let’s take one step at a time.”

Pardew worked alongside Frenchman Morgan Schneiderlin during his time at St Mary’s and feels Koeman’s side could be suffering slightly from the loss of the midfielder in the summer.

“I think Schneiderlin was a blow,” he added. “I worked with him and he had terrific energy with quality, so to take that out of the team is difficult to replace.

“I do think they miss him. It’s not easy to replace someone as influential as Morgan, but they’re still a very good side.”

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