Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Pulis plots misery for Mourinho

Palace manager Tony Pulis enjoyed the company of Chelsea's Jose Mourinho following the Blues' win at Stamford Bridge but is looking to turn the tables this weekend.

Tony Pulis was charmed by Jose Mourinho when the Portuguese led his Chelsea side to victory over Crystal Palace in December - but the Eagles boss is aiming to send him home miserable this weekend.

Palace welcome Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea to Selhurst Park on Saturday, with their own top-flight status still in the balance.

Pulis, who was appointed as Ian Holloway's replacement in November, is looking to become the first man to keep a Palace side in the Premier League beyond a single season.

And, after his side went down to a closely-fought 2-1 loss at Stamford Bridge, Pulis is hoping to get his own back on Blues manager Mourinho, who he holds in high regard having only come up against him for the first time last year.

"For me Jose is one of the elite managers in the world," Pulis said.

"If you look at his record he has managed the great teams and the great teams need to win and he does that for them. He doesn't just do it on home soil, but does that away as well.

"I met him after the game at Stamford Bridge and he's interesting.

"Whether you like him or dislike him for what he is, there is no doubting he is a top manager. The time I had with him was charming, but they had just beaten us. It would be nice to see on Saturday if he's charming."

With three wins in his first six league games in charge at Selhurst Park, Pulis' approach gave Palace fresh impetus following his initial appointment.

Other impressive results, particularly at home, have followed but a lack of consistency means the Eagles remain only three points from safety and sit precariously in 17th place in the table.

"It was always going to be tough," Pulis said.

"But it's not about 10 games. The Premier League is from start to finish, as we will see this year. It is not just about a run of 10 games. You have to keep going and working hard and the lads have been brilliant.

"In the last eight we have four at home and four away. It's all evened up and we're still three points out of the relegation zone which is not too bad."

Having scored just once in their last five league games, accruing just one point in the process, Palace continue to suffer from a lack of fire-power in front of goal as both Marouane Chamakh and Dwight Gayle remain sidelined with injuries.

That means the burden for goals falls heavily on the fit-again Glenn Murray and Stoke loanee Cameron Jerome, but Pulis wants to see his whole side chipping in with the goals that could stave off relegation.

"We've got Gayle out and Chamakh, but Cameron and Murray have done smashing when we have played them," Pulis said.

"We need goals from everyone in the team. I think it's more confidence and good fortune. We need a break - we need things to go for you and at the moment one or two things aren't. When we create chances we have to take them."

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