Pardew joined the south London club from Newcastle United in January and since then has guided the Eagles to 22 points from a possible 33.
The latest feather in his cap was the 2-1 win over current champions Manchester City on Monday night which prompted the following from the much-improved Ward.
"It's been brilliant since the boss came in. Now we have a very clear direction in the way we are going," he said.
"He wants to play, get the ball down and create an identity for ourselves - and that's what we are doing.
"We are playing with that freedom, and we have found a bit of form. We are not looking backwards, we are looking forwards.
"That momentum is carrying us on.
"There is no reason why we can't finish in the top ten this year.
"We have a great run of games now - against Sunderland, West Brom and Hull, so we have a chance to get as high as we can."