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Pulis - We're always underdogs

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31 Dec 2013 12:47:01

Pulis - We're always underdogs

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis believes his side will be underdogs when they host Norwich on New Year's Day - but insists that feeling is nothing new for the Eagles.

A win for Palace would see them move above Norwich, who currently sit 14th in the Barclays Premier League, as Pulis continues to pull the team away from the relegation zone.

The former Stoke boss has overseen two wins out of three league games at Selhurst Park since replacing Ian Holloway in November.

Palace also pushed Manchester City all the way on Saturday and were unfortunate to lose 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

Although Pulis is attaching no extra importance to the clash with fellow strugglers Norwich, he still feels his side will be the outsiders in most of their remaining fixtures.

"They are all worth three points," he said when asked if the Norwich game carried more significance in their fight against relegation.

"The Man City game has gone now so the next big game is Norwich. Every game is a cup final for us in the Premier League. We played well at Chelsea and didn't get anything, we played really well at Man City and picked no points up.

"All that we did is brilliant for confidence and everything else and gives the players a lift to go out and compete with top-class players.

"The bottom line is when it comes to Wednesday we are playing another team who have more experience than us in the Premier League and have had more years to bed down. We will be the underdogs again, we are the underdogs most weeks and we just have to accept that."

Following narrow defeats at Chelsea and Man City in recent weeks, a game against the Canaries will be seen by many Palace fans as a fixture where points are more attainable.

But Pulis is wary of that fact and is still expecting a tough test against Chris Hughton's side.

"That (expectation) is something you have to deal with," he said.

"The players have to deal with that, there is no hiding the fact that we are playing at home and we need to win home games. We are hoping that we get some points.

"Norwich are one of the teams in the bottom half of the table who will be looking to get points as quickly as they can, much like us.

"I have a lot of respect for Chris and it is a smashing football club. I haven't seen them that much but I will watch a few games now until we play them on Wednesday."

Pulis took over a Palace team who had just seven points from their opening 12 league games and lost at Norwich in his first game in charge.

Since then, the Welshman has secured enough points to take the Eagles out of the bottom three on goal difference and Pulis admits he has been impressed with how the squad have adapted to his methods.

"The players' attitude to what we are trying to do as a group has been wonderful," he added.

"If you look at the running stats for the wide players it is getting to a point where it should be, and I ask the full-backs to get up and support.

"The team move up and down the pitch collectively and to do that you need people who are prepared to work and, with the position we are in, everyone has to work and they have bought into it and I think they are enjoying it."


PA

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