Alan Pardew believes his loyalty to certain players ultimately cost him his job at Crystal Palace.
The 55-year-old was sacked in December and replaced by Sam Allardyce after winning just one of his last eleven games.
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“Sometimes as managers you do get loyal to players. They kept us up, we got to the cup final. I couldn’t fault their attitude but we didn’t have a balanced team,” Pardew told The Times.
“The players I’ve had, I think I’ve largely got the maximum out of them but maybe you can’t keep going for maximum. Maybe my loyalty gets in the way a little bit.”
At the time of his departure, the London club were 17th in the Premier League with relegation seemingly imminent despite spending over £50 million in the summer transfer window.
The former Newcastle manager was responsible for bringing in the likes of Christian Benteke, Andros Townsend and James Tomkins but his team selection still leaned heavily in favour of older players who had played during the previous campaigns.
Pardew now believes his loyalty towards those players clouded his judgement and contributed towards his sacking.
The Eagles have bounced back under Allardyce, having won their last three games to leave them sitting four points clear of relegation.
However, they cannot afford to get complacent as they face league leaders Chelsea this weekend and have Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Manchester United still to play before the close of the season.