Alan Pardew insists Crystal Palace will not be short of striking options for Saturday’s Premier League clash with old club Newcastle United – despite injuries depleting his squad.
Bakary Sako suffered a suspected hamstring strain in last night’s 1-0 home league defeat to Sunderland and is expected to miss the weekend battle.
Palace boss Pardew admits summer signing Connor Wickham and former Arsenal frontman Marouane Chamakh are both ring-rusty after recent injury issues.
And with Dwight Gayle still battling his own hamstring issue, Palace’s options have thinned, but Pardew is remaining calm.
“We’re fine,” said Pardew, when asked if his forward line resources had taken a hit.
“We think Sako pulled a hamstring, he certainly couldn’t continue, and that’s a little bit disappointing because he is a real goal threat for us, particularly when teams are deep.
Away from home, when teams come on to us, we enjoy it a little bit more, we won’t deny that.Alan Pardew
“I thought he caused a couple of problems when he was on the pitch.
“I don’t know if Marouane will be ready to start this weekend.
“He hasn’t really had a lot of game-time, but we probably have to feed him in as we go along.
“I don’t know if he can really start on Saturday, but he has that class and quality when defences are deep to make the moment.”
Former Palace midfielder Pardew left Newcastle for the Eagles at the turn of the year, and has since guided the Selhurst Park club back to Premier League security.
Despite several impressive results on the road this term, however, Pardew’s men have now lost four of seven Premier League clashes at home.
The 54-year-old has now admitted Palace must rediscover their attacking verve on home turf – when the onus lies on them to dominate rather than strike on the counter.
“It was Connor Wickham’s first game back after injury on Monday, and probably he’s not as sharp as he should be,” said Pardew.
“Scoring goals has been an area that’s been a problem this year.
“Away from home, when teams come on to us, we enjoy it a little bit more, we won’t deny that.
“But we have to find a solution at home and we have another chance on Saturday to see if we can.”