Alan Pardew knows very well just how tricky it is to break into the top four spots in the Premier League.
As Pardew prepares to take his 13th-placed Eagles to Upton Park to meet Sam Allardyce's eighth-placed Hammers on Saturday, the ex-manager of the east London club suggests it will be a huge effort to make up the eight-point gap currently between them and a place in European.
"Sometimes it's difficult, when you've got a glass ceiling above you, to try to break through to that top four or five clubs," said Pardew of West Ham.
"That period underneath becomes a bit frustrating for fans, particularly if you're out of the cups.
"Fans want to win something as well and I think this is probably an important game for West Ham to try to stay with that little pack
"West Ham were in there, right in amongst it a few weeks ago and have just fallen behind. That's not to say they can't get there still, that's what you have to try achieve when you're that sort of club.
"One year we were in the Champions League positions with about three games to go at Newcastle and couldn't quite make it, we nearly did but it's very difficult."
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