Gabbidon targets festive gains

Crystal Palace defender Danny Gabbidon believes a strong showing over the busy festive period could leave the Eagles targeting a place in the middle of the league table.

Danny Gabbidon of Crystal Palace

Newcastle travel to Selhurst Park on Saturday with Palace currently inside the relegation zone and just one point from safety after being bottom of the table for several weeks.

New manager Tony Pulis has overseen two wins out of four since replacing Ian Holloway at the helm and Gabbidon wants to see that sort of form continue over the coming weeks.

"We looked at our recent run as a block of five games and had targets, everyone looks at the Christmas period as a similar thing," he said.

"If you can pick up two or three wins it can really push you on for the rest of the season. I think we have done well the last couple of weeks and got ourselves back in to a much better position.

"If we can go through the Christmas period and pick up a few points then we are well on our way and maybe can be looking at getting up towards the mid-table region.

"We are learning and improving all of the time with every game and confidence is getting better and better with each game."

Both home games under Pulis have ended in victory, with the ex-Stoke manager overseeing wins over both West Ham and Cardiff, and Wales international Gabbidon feels the extra work being asked of the players on the training ground is starting to pay dividends.

"Every manager is different and I think on the pitch you can see that we are putting in a lot more hard work," he said.

"The manager wants us working hard as a team and it isn't about the individuals.

"Everyone needs to put a shift in and look at helping each other and do their own job and I think you can see that since he came in to the club.

"We have put a lot of work in on the training ground with our shape and organisation and that goes a long way in this league.

"If you can be organised and keep yourself in games and make yourself hard to beat and pick up one point when you can't get three then it all helps.

"It has been a tough couple of weeks, the intensity in training and the work rate has got up a lot so we are trying to adjust to that as well but everyone has been doing really well."

Marouane Chamakh's return to form has coincided with Pulis' arrival with the former Arsenal forward scoring three goals in the past three games.

Gabbidon believes the Morocco international's team ethic means he is deserving of his rewards now and feels Chamakh has benefited from Pulis deploying Cameron Jerome alongside him.

"Chamakh has been good all season and just hasn't had the goals to go with it," Gabbidon added.

"He really puts a shift in every game and runs around, he does the job of two people with his defensive work so it is good to see him picking up some goals now - his work-rate has deserved that.

"It has been a partnership and I think Cameron coming in to the team has helped him and they compliment each other quite well.

"Marouane is someone who likes to drop off a bit more than be the main striker and he works ever so hard for the team.

"Now you are seeing him getting into goalscoring positions and he has taken his goals really well, hopefully that can continue for us."

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