Scott Dann wants to build momentum ahead of Crystal Palace’s FA Cup semi-final clash at the end of April by getting positive results from their next two Premier League fixtures against Arsenal and Manchester United.
Wednesday’s 0-0 draw at home to Everton represented a continuation of their recent improvement following an appalling run that ended when Saturday’s 1-0 defeat of Norwich gave them a first league win since December 19.
The second-half dismissal of Everton’s James McCarthy presented Palace with a fine chance to secure a win that would have taken them up to 12th place with a total of 40 points – widely considered to be enough to avoid relegation.
But Dann was content his team-mates had shed their recent nerves and is focused on building towards the April 24 FA Cup semi-final with Watford.
“We have got two tough away games before the semi-final and we need to get some more momentum going into that game,” said the central defender, whose team remain 16th – on 38 points.
“I thought we played well. Moved the ball well. I do not think there were nerves there, which was good to see.
“We feel it is two points dropped but it is another point in the right direction, especially with the run we were on previously.
“After they went a man down we had some quite good chances in the second half, even in the first half, but it was not to be and we could not quite put the ball in the back of the net.
“We have still got ambitions of getting as high as we can in the league. We have got a lot of players coming back from injury and the squad is looking a lot fuller now.
“It is a good headache for the gaffer (Alan Pardew) to have. He had good options to bring on and the bench is probably as strong as it has been for a long time.”
Everton’s McCarthy, having been given two yellow cards, is to miss Saturday’s home fixture with Southampton through suspension.
His manager Roberto Martinez was insistent afterwards that the second of his bookings, for a block on Yannick Bolasie, was unfair, and the midfielder’s team-mate for club and country Seamus Coleman has echoed that view.
“James was unfortunate to be sent off and then we had to battle it out,” Ireland’s Coleman told Everton’s official Twitter page. “Joel (Robles) was very good in goal.
“We came down wanting all three points so we could finish strong with a semi-final (against Manchester United) to look forward to.”