Sport Soccer

Friday 19 January 2018

Pulis wants time to prepare

Tony Pulis's Palace fell to bottom place in the Premier League after losing to Norwich
Tony Pulis's Palace fell to bottom place in the Premier League after losing to Norwich

New Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis would prefer to spend a few more days working with his players than having to throw them straight back into the battle for Barclays Premier League survival against West Ham.

The Eagles went down 1-0 at Norwich on Saturday in what was Pulis' first match at the helm since his appointment before last weekend's win at Hull.

The 55-year-old made a couple of changes to his opening starting XI, with Cameron Jerome coming in alongside Marouane Chamakh in attack, while Jason Puncheon replaced suspended midfielder Yannick Bolasie.

While there was little real chance in the short space of time for the former Stoke manager to stamp his mark on the side, it looked a positive move as the visitors produced a good response after falling behind to Gary Hooper's goal on 30 minutes.

Indeed, on another day, Palace could well have taken something away from Carrow Road, with a thunderous drive from Barry Bannan headed onto the crossbar by Norwich defender Martin Olsson and in the closing minutes Jerome missed his kick from 10 yards.

Pulis will do his best to regroup and try to implement a few more minor changes before the Irons come to Selhurst Park on Tuesday night.

"I would have preferred to have had a break, for some more time to work with the players, but the games come thick and fast in December, so you have to get on with it," said Pulis, who will look to bring in some reinforcements when the January transfer window opens.

"I was pleased with the players at Norwich because they tried their best, and as a manager, that is all you can do."

Although by no means cut adrift, Palace slipped back to the bottom of the table after Sunderland's goalless draw at Aston Villa.

"I know how tough it is going to be an have spoken to the directors for a few weeks now on the situation and they understand if I am going to stay here, then I want to build something and put something in place like I did at Stoke," said Pulis.

"What people don't realise is one of the toughest and important jobs is pre-season, and what you can put in place.

"Unfortunately for me and the football club, I have not been here, and that is no disrespect to anybody because we all have different ideas about the way to do things."

He added: "Most of the teams you are playing down there (in the table), like West Ham and Norwich, have had a couple of seasons in the Premier League, so have had time to build, they have a base and an opportunity to improve."

Eagles captain Mile Jedinak has no issues with tackling the hard work ahead.

"Obviously there is a settling in period (for a new manager), but it is time to get down to business," the Australian said.

"The boys are aware of that, we have a tough week ahead, but we will be ready for that and eager to do our best."

Norwich, meanwhile, will be hoping for some consistency on the back of what was a second win in three matches and once which lifted them up to 14th, easing the pressure on manager Chris Hughton ahead of the midweek trip to Liverpool.

"The game is all about confidence and we now go to Anfield on Wednesday night, and there are not too many tougher places," said Hughton.

"It is certainly better going there on the back of a performance like this and also a clean sheet.

"We have been a bit stop-start, but that is how the league is and we need to start keep that continuity going.

"We also need to make sure we do not pick up any more injuries over this heavy period, because we are quite stretched at the moment in certain positions"

Press Association

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