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Pulis planning to revive Eagles


Tony Pulis' first game in charge of Crystal Palace is against Norwich on Saturday

Tony Pulis' first game in charge of Crystal Palace is against Norwich on Saturday

Tony Pulis' first game in charge of Crystal Palace is against Norwich on Saturday

New Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis has refuted suggestions he is the long-ball merchant of the Barclays Premier League as he sets about keeping the Eagles in the division.

The 55-year-old was unveiled as Ian Holloway's replacement on Monday afternoon, signing a two-and-a-half-year deal and taking charge of a team who currently reside in the bottom three.

Holloway left the Eagles following a heavy 4-1 home defeat to Fulham last month and, since his departure, caretaker boss Keith Millen has guided the Eagles to four points from four games - including just their second league win of the season at Hull on Saturday.

Pulis will now look to continue the play-off winners' mini revival and, despite having become renowned for a direct approach during his spell with the Potters, does not necessarily feel the hit-and-hope tag is a fair one.

"I personally think we weren't that (a long-ball team) at Stoke," he said.

"You have (Jermaine) Pennant, (Matthew) Etherington, Charlie Adam, good players like that - there are some top, top players at Stoke. We built it gradually.

"Initially you start in a way you think will make you successful and build from there. The only thing I will say about that is for the seven years I was there we had that upward curve."

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Palace found themselves bottom of the table when Holloway's tenure came to an end despite bringing in as many as 16 new faces over the summer.

However, Pulis has already been identifying areas he feels need work and could dip his toes in the transfer market when the January window opens - although for now he is focused solely on the Eagles' forthcoming fixtures.

"I have spoken to (co-chairman) Steve (Parish) about different things in different areas of the team and things that I think we need," he said.

"I haven't come into this job without looking at the team and looking at games they have played before or monitoring things that have happened.

"There are certain areas where you think that if the right player comes along you might want to improve in those areas but we have got six vital, vital games to get through before we start thinking about that."

Pulis, who spent his time reading about historical figures such as Winston Churchill and Napoleon Bonaparte after leaving Stoke at the end of last season, has yet to be relegated during his managerial career and took Stoke from the Championship into an FA Cup final and a subsequent Europa League campaign during his stay in Staffordshire.

The home support inside Stoke's Britannia Stadium is often heralded as among the best in the league and Pulis believes Palace fans can do their bit if he is to become the first manager to keep the Eagles in the Premier League for more than one season.

"I just think the supporters of this football club have picked the baton up. I think it has been wonderful," he added.

"I think they appreciate what the club has done and where it has come from over the past couple of years. There is a rapport between the supporters and the team which is so, so important.

"We need that. I kept saying when I was at Stoke how important that was and what a great part the supporters of Stoke City played in taking that club forward in the early years of the Premier League.

"The Palace supporters have been exactly the same. You have to give them a performance to get behind. You have to give them something to shout about, but we certainly will need them. I have absolutely no doubt that they will stick with the team."

Norwich pose the first test to Pulis' Palace side when they meet at Carrow Road on Saturday, but the former Gillingham and Bristol City boss will also be aware that a third win of the campaign would take his new team to within a point of the Canaries, who sit 16th in the table.

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