Palace face tough fight to beat drop says Pulis

25 November 2013 05:16

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis on Monday conceded his new team face a tough battle to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Pulis has been pitched into a daunting fight to beat the drop after agreeing a two-and-a-half-year contract to replace Ian Holloway, who resigned a month ago.

The former Stoke boss was in the stands at Hull on Saturday as the Eagles responded to the presence of their new boss with a crucial 1-0 win, and he will take charge for the first time against Norwich on Saturday.

But, despite that welcome gift, Pulis arrives at Selhurst Park with Palace second bottom of the table after nine defeats from their 12 matches and he admitted it will take a significant effort to stay up.

"I'm still very ambitious, I like climbing hills," he said. "This is going to be a tough job, but one I will relish.

"I told the players we will be underdogs. People expect us to be relegated."

Pulis won promotion with Stoke and kept them in the top-flight for four seasons before leaving his post in May.

He has a reputation for producing aggressive and direct sides, who rely on their strength and organisation to over-power opponents.

In Palace's dire circumstances those qualities and Pulis's experience could be key factors.

And, asked if he had considered turning down Palace's approach because of the club's status as top-flight minnows, Pulis struck an upbeat note.

"It's a club in the Premiership, a smashing club with great history. It's going to be a tough job and I have not come in with any illusions," he said.

"This club has had a remarkable few years and the board of directors and chairman have to be applauded for looking after the club and pushing it on.

"This is an opportunity to try and achieve something Palace have not achieved; get in the Premiership and stay there and take the club forward."

Pulis was also keen to dismiss suggestions that he is becoming the equivalent of a firefighter sent in to rescue teams in trouble.

"What people don't talk about is I've been promoted out of every division and been to the final of an FA Cup," he said.

"People talk about me being a firefighter, but I have also been very successful. It annoys me that in this country you get pigeon-holed for certain things.

"Everyone talks about not being relegated, but as a manager I have got a few promotions."

Source: AFP