Pulis praises Palace attack
Published 20/04/2014 | 08:07
Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis believes his team deserve more credit for their attacking talents after the Eagles guaranteed Barclays Premier League survival with a 1-0 win at West Ham.
Mile Jedinak sealed the victory at Upton Park with a 59th-minute penalty after Cameron Jerome was fouled in the area by Pablo Armero.
Five consecutive league victories and four clean sheets in that period mean Palace are now 13 points clear of the relegation zone and mathematically safe.
Defensive resilience has been at the heart of the club's revival since Pulis took over in November, but the Eagles boss insists his players are exciting to watch too.
"The defence has been fantastic, but I also think we've played some really, really good football," Pulis said.
"Today again we could have scored three or four goals, so don't take anything away from we've got here.
"This is a different team to the one I had at Stoke - it's got different strengths.
"We sat down and worked out the strengths of the team and worked out a system we thought would suit them.
"You have to be strong and you have to be resilient, but we've got great pace on the break and the two wide players were absolutely outstanding today."
Pulis hailed Yannick Bolasie as the "best player on the pitch" at Upton Park, while fellow wide man Jason Puncheon has scored four goals in his last five matches.
Palace could have made the score more convincing had they converted one of a handful of chances in the second half as West Ham struggled to put their opponents under any sustained pressure.
The Hammers did, however, have reason to feel aggrieved in the first period when they were denied a penalty after Andy Carroll was pushed over by Jedinak.
"Sam said they could have had a couple of penalties, but I think we could have had a couple more as well," Pulis said.
"I think the ball hit (Kevin) Nolan on the hand in the first half and we could have had a penalty with Puncheon as well, so both sides are probably screaming they could have had penalties."
He added: "We had to deal with Andy Carroll. Carroll is a handful and he was again today, so you have to deal with that and Mile Jedinak helped the two centre-halves.
"That little pivot in the heart of our defence has been very important."
West Ham have conceded three penalties in their last two home matches and Allardyce lamented Martin Atkinson's decision not to award his side a spot-kick.
"We think Andy was fouled in the box in the first half," Allardyce said.
"I had a look when the game finished and of course looking at that it certainly looked like a blatant penalty to me.
"Quite why Martin didn't give it - because he seemed to be in a very good position - I don't know."
The home crowd grew increasingly hostile in the second half, jeering Allardyce's substitutions and booing at the final whistle.
The Hammers boss admits he has sympathy with the fans' frustrations, but believes his team could have taken something from the game had it not been for some "miserable" finishing.
"In the end it's about one thing," Allardyce said. "When you get the opportunity to score you've got to score and that's what we didn't do today.
"We were pretty miserable in our finishing. Not making the keeper make more saves than he did was my big disappointment apart from the penalty given away.
"Our quality of finishing wasn't good enough when we created the chances we did and you don't create many chances against Crystal Palace."