Saturday 29 November 2014

Pulis focused on picking up points

Published 17/01/2014 | 13:37

Tony Pulis comes up against his former Stoke team
Tony Pulis comes up against his former Stoke team

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis will treat Saturday's game against former side Stoke the same as any other as he looks to steer the Eagles back out of the Barclays Premier League bottom three.

The 56-year-old ended a 10-year reign as Stoke boss last summer and was soon back in top-flight management when he replaced Ian Holloway at Selhurst Park in November.

Results have improved since, but a run of just one point from their last three league outings has seen Palace drop to the foot of the table, meaning a Stoke reunion in south London this weekend is all about the result for Pulis, who remains keen to add to his squad during the transfer window.

"It is always about the three points," he said.

"Those memories will stay with me, the area and the people I met, not just around the football club.

"Ourselves and Sunderland were cut off at one stage. Sunderland have come back and we have come back at it. What we have to do is make sure you push on from there and that is the important thing.

"We are looking at all areas and we need to strengthen in all areas.

"We have got injuries we need to deal with, but I think we need to get players in to help us. We haven't done it yet but we certainly need to."

Pulis will be low on numbers for the visit of Mark Hughes' Stoke, with on-loan striker Cameron Jerome ineligible to face his parent club and midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi still sidelined with a calf injury.

Glenn Murray remains a long-term absentee, along with full-back Jack Hunt and club-captain Paddy McCarthy.

The latter has started to make his comeback following a lengthy spell out with a groin injury, and the former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international has been impressed by Palace's transformation under Pulis.

"The lads have applied themselves unbelievably well," McCarthy said.

"They have bought into the new ideas the new manager has brought to the club and we are moving forward at a rapid pace. With the group we have, I'm quietly confident we have enough in the squad to pick up the points to keep us safe this year."

Former Leicester and Charlton defender McCarthy did not feature at all during Palace's promotion campaign last season but has played some reserve football of late, and was also an unused substitute in the recent FA Cup third round victory at West Brom.

Now McCarthy, 30, is hoping his recent injury woes are behind him as he looks to get closer to a first-team outing.

"I have come through two games now with no problems, so I'm just building up my match fitness," he added.

"I have trained for a few weeks now with no problem, I feel physically fit and it is all about building the game-time now and hopefully I will be in contention soon.

"It has been a tough 18 months for me but I have worked my socks off and come in day in, day out. And hopefully I will reap the rewards for my hard work and not pick up any more injuries.

"We have left no stone unturned. We have been to Germany and Italy to see the best people for my specific injury, so I'm hoping I'm over the worst of it now.

"I think it took a few months for people to understand what had happened, it took quite a while to get on top of it. I've done all the groundwork and now I'm starting to feel better in the games I'm taking part in, and as the weeks go by I will pick up more minutes."

Press Association

Promoted articles

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport