Alan Pardew has insisted that Crystal Palace were trying their very best  to beat Newcastle.

To a backdrop of some pretty bizarre conspiracy theories on Wearside, Pardew says ‘really and truly we were looking for something’ from the Newcastle match.

Anybody who watched the first half on Saturday would have seen a Crystal Palace team well on top and creating the better chances, Karl Darlow making s number of excellent saves.

I have even seen claims that the Palace keeper should have done better with Andros Townsend’s goal…it would have taken something special to save that.

As for the Yohan Cabaye penalty, Alan Pardew says he simply ‘didn’t catch it properly’. The Mackem conspiracy theorists suggesting he ‘missed’ it on purpose, which is all a bit strange because if he’d wanted to miss  then he would have missed the goal, rather than guessing which way Darlow was going to dive!

Pardew did admit that subconsciously the players are bound to be thinking about their upcoming FA Cup final appearance.

Amusingly, we are reminded of the positive spin Alan Pardew often put on situations when at Newcastle, saying he wanted Palace to ‘try and keep our momentum we have gained with our semi final win and results before it’.

With only one win (lucky 1-0 v Norwich) in their last 19 Premier League matches, it is hard to see much momentum there!

Alan Pardew:

“In a way with the cup final coming up it is difficult for the lads to put it at the back of their minds, but the two league games are important and we have to try and improve our league position.

“Really and truly we were looking for something from today but it wasn’t to be.

“We are still not mathematically safe and are left with two league games, we have Stoke at home first up next weekend which is a big game for us and try and keep our momentum we have gained with our semi final win and results before it.

“In the first half we were the better team, controlled the game but at the start of the second half we had a bad patch and right at the end of that period they scored.

“It was a perfect time for them but we pushed on and got a penalty, which should have given ourselves a goal. That would have made for a very edgy finish to the game for them that would have played into our hands but we missed the penalty and they really tightened up and we couldn’t find a way through and we came away with a defeat.

“For long periods we were in control of the game but it was down to two set plays and that is how close the margins are in this league.

“Our performance level was good but they are on it at the moment and didn’t really give us many chances and squeezed a win out of the game and we were chasing the match at the end and therefore they gave us a few scary moments at the other end.

Yohan is normally pretty efficient from the penalty spot, it was unusual for him as he just didn’t catch it properly. It was a tight game but they did well today and didn’t play like a team in the bottom three and after this result they have a chance.”