Pulis targets one more win

13 April 2014 07:01

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis believes his side need just one more win to achieve Barclays Premier League safety.

The Eagles beat Aston Villa 1-0 on Saturday to record their third successive league victory and maintain their seven-point gap over the bottom three with just five games remaining.

Villa are now in a more precarious position, having lost four games in a row, and fell below Palace after Jason Puncheon's second-half goal was enough to give Pulis' side the points.

The win takes Palace up to 12th but, with away games at Everton and West Ham in the next week, Pulis reckons a second season in the top flight is still reliant upon adding another victory before the end of the campaign.

"You're always looking to go on a run and pick these points up," he said.

"We are on 37 at the moment so let's get to 40 and then we will talk about next season, 40 will keep us up.

"We are not safe. I will talk about it when we have done it, that is the best way. Someone told me we had three points out of a possible 30 when I came into the football club and it has been really encouraging."

Villa started the brighter of the two sides but did not turn their early dominance into chances, whereas once Palace got into the game they looked the more likely to break the deadlock.

Yannick Bolasie miscued after a well-worked free-kick routine and Cameron Jerome could only hit the crossbar from two yards out before Puncheon's winner.

The Eagles' approach once again was at odds to the perception Pulis earned while managing Stoke, with the 56-year-old pleased his players have bought into what he has tried to do since replacing Ian Holloway in November.

"You have to give credit to the players," he said.

"You can come in as a manager and put a philosophy into a football club, and if they don't take to it they can cost you your job. These lot have really enjoyed it, they have enjoyed the work.

"You get a stigma attached to you. At Stoke we used Kenwyne Jones and Peter Crouch and we used them in abundance because they are good players at what they do.

"We haven't got that target man here so we play through the pitch quicker and you need people who can come inside, like Bolasie and Puncheon do, into the pockets and we build up our momentum really through them.

"A lot of time and a lot of work has been spent trying to get them to understand that and the team to understand it. I think the way they have taken to it has been first class."

Villa have now lost all four games they have played since beating Chelsea 1-0 on March 15, with Stoke, Manchester United and Fulham all taking maximum points from Paul Lambert's side.

But the former Norwich boss has a simple tonic to Villa's slide into the relegation battle - beat Southampton next weekend.

"We are a million miles from where we want to be," Lambert said.

"Anyone who knows me will tell you my ambition. If you can't win a game of football it is what happens. We have to win a game of football.

"You're in that group and the only simple solution is to win the next game, that gives you the breathing space.

"We try and keep the lads upbeat and keep them at it, those are the ones who have got to go and play. I never waiver from having the belief in them to go and win a game, the effort is there in abundance."

Source: PA

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