Nathaniel Clyne has warned that form goes out the window for Crystal Palace’s FA Cup quarter-final tie against Everton on Sunday.
The Eagles were FA Cup finalists in 2016, losing in extra-time to Manchester United.
Now they are just one win away from a Wembley return in the competition.
And Clyne, 30, said the fact he came through the youth set-up at Palace would make the achievement mean even more.
“To take the club to Wembley would be something special,” said the Stockwell-born right-back, who rejoined the Eagles in 2020. “I left when the club were in the Championship. They have done so well to get into the Premier League, to remain in the Premier League, and now we’re an established Premier League side with quality players.”
Palace look set to be favourites heading into the match against Everton.
The Toffees went into last night’s home match against Newcastle United off the back of four straight Premier League losses.
Frank Lampard’s only win prior to our paper going to press was a 2-0 victory over National League Boreham Wood in the previous round of the FA Cup.
Palace are on a five-game unbeaten run and drew 0-0 with Premier League leaders Manchester City on Monday night.
Pep Guardiola’s slick side have scored against 26 of the 27 teams they have faced this season – with the Eagles twice shutting them out after a 2-0 success at the Etihad Stadium in October.
Clyne, who won Palace’s Player of the Year award for the 2010-11 season, said: “It gives us an extra bonus playing at home and playing in front of our magnificent support. It’s a one-off cup game, and I guess form does go out of the window when it comes to the FA Cup.
“It’s another tough game, and we are going to be prepared. We’re at the quarters at the moment, so it’s a very, very good cup run.
“We’re looking forward to trying to get to Wembley, which would be a nice day out for the fans.
“It will be an interesting game. Hopefully, we can do the fans proud.”
Clyne has started the previous five games since Joel Ward suffered a groin injury prior to the 1-0 loss to Chelsea.
Clyne kept his spot in the starting line-up despite Ward returning to the matchday squad against City.
“My body feels good – I feel fit,” said Clyne. “I have got my match fitness and sharpness back, and I am feeling good. I am happy to be in the starting line-up and getting a run of games.
“I am looking to improve, and hopefully I can make the position my own now – that’s the aim.
“I am back in the side after not playing for most of the season – I need to perform well in every game I play. That was enough motivation in itself.
“I am up for playing the next game and the next game, I am getting fitter and fitter, and my performances have been improving.”
Conor Gallagher and Michael Olise have been two standout players for the Eagles this season.
Gallagher, who has scored eight goals during his season-long loan from Chelsea, ran 12.5km during the 0-0 draw with City.
And Olise, who joined in the summer from Championship side Reading for £8million, has scored four and assisted seven in his first season for the Eagles.
“[They’re] very, very good,” said Clyne, capped 14 times by England.
“It’s Michael’s first season in the Premier League and he has looked like he has been here for a long time. It’s Conor’s second season in the Premier League, and he looks like he has been playing for a long time.
“They are both on the verges of getting call-ups for their [respective] national teams, and it just shows how well that they are doing.
“I’m excited to play with them and happy that they are on our team.”