Football - Gabbidon hoping for cup boost

The FA Cup may be a distraction from league duties but Crystal Palace defender Danny Gabbidon believes a positive result in the Eagles' third-round meeting with West Brom could help them in their relegation fight.

A home draw to Norwich on New Year's Day saw Palace drop back into the Barclays Premier League bottom three and a tricky trip to the Hawthorns will not be the priority of manager Tony Pulis as he looks to steer the club to top-flight safety.

But Gabbidon, who has played in all but two of Palace's league games so far this season, reckons a win at West Brom and subsequent FA Cup progression could play a part in a successful survival bid.

"Sometimes cup runs can help," he told the Croydon Advertiser.

"It's something up to the manager whether he wants to change players, but sometimes when you're in a run of form you want to keep playing as well.

"You just look forward to the next game; it's one we want a good result from. I don't know what's in the manager's mind. At the end of the day, it's another game and one we want to win."

With the January transfer window opening, Pulis - who replaced Ian Holloway at Selhurst Park in November - will no doubt be looking to bring in players he believes can keep Palace up.

Gabbidon, who saw 17 players join the club in the summer as part of Holloway's recruitment drive, feels the squad can be added to once again as the current crop of Eagles look to become the first Palace side to survive for more than a single season in the Premier League.

"Competition is good for places, the new manager has come in and he's going to have his own ideas," he added.

"There will be areas we need to improve on and the boss will have his eye on certain players he wants to bring into the team.

"We'll see what happens in the next few weeks. If we can bring two or three more bodies in, that can improve the team. Hopefully we can then kick on for the second half of the season."

Following on from the packed festive period, it is highly likely that Pulis will make several changes for the West Brom game on Saturday.

Midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi is certain not to be risked after a recurrence of a hamstring problem but Stuart O'Keefe may feature after returning to full fitness.

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