Pulis prepared for Puncheon offers
Published 10/04/2014 | 12:17
Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis is keen to hold on to in-form midfielder Jason Puncheon but admits the 27-year-old could still be sold in the summer if the right offer comes along.
Puncheon, who signed a four-and-a-half-year contract when he joined the Eagles permanently in January, has scored five goals in 14 league matches this year including a brace against Cardiff last Saturday.
Pulis hopes Puncheon remains at Palace in the summer but admits if bids were to be made for the player, the club would have to consider them.
"If somebody comes in and makes an offer because Jason is playing so well, we'll look at that offer," Pulis said.
"That's the force of the market and it's what happens to the top players if they play well.
"(Gareth) Bale played extremely well for Tottenham and they ended up selling him to Real Madrid - it happens in every football club."
Pulis added: "Jason is playing ever so well for us, we don't want to sell him and I don't think we'll be talking about selling him when the season is over.
"But personally I know that happens in football and you just get on with it."
Puncheon has now played for nine clubs in his professional career and Pulis believes it is important the former Southampton player stays level-headed.
"When he's 100 per cent he's a good player - anything but 100 per cent, if he drops off then he drops below the standard we need for our team to function," Pulis said.
"He's played exceptionally well over a period now so I think he's happy, but he's another one who has to keep his feet on the ground."
Palace have enjoyed a remarkable revival since Pulis took the reins in November and currently find themselves seven points clear of the relegation zone.
A surprise 1-0 win over Chelsea a fortnight ago was followed by a 3-0 victory at Cardiff last weekend and Pulis' side have now conceded just two goals in their last five league matches.
Julian Speroni, Joel Ward, Mile Jedinak and Puncheon have all been singled out for praise in recent weeks but Pulis insists it is the team ethic that has underpinned the team's recovery.
"It's been about getting the players together, a lot of hard work, good organisation and they've believed in what we're trying to do," Pulis said.
"They've done that, they've picked up on it, they've enjoyed it - what we've got to do is make sure we keep that grit and determination and the attitude that has seen them through the games."
He added: "The work ethic in the group has been absolutely fantastic.
"One or two will catch the eye, score a goal or make a great save but if you actually look at the wider picture, everybody has just bought into what we want to do."
The Eagles host Aston Villa on Saturday and with both teams currently on 34 points, a victory for either side could all but seal top-flight status for another year.
When it was put to him that Palace, who have six games left to play, may already be safe, Pulis said: "No chance. I don't think so, there are more twists and turns in it and we'll be desperately keen to get as many points on the board as quickly as we can."
He added: "It can change so quickly so we have to stay focused, win, lose or draw.
"It's been a good couple of weeks for us but it's important we keep our feet on the ground - we recognise how important the Villa game is going to be on Saturday so we have to maintain the momentum we've built up over the past few weeks."
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