Pulis hails Puncheon after Stoke success

Sutton Guardian: Jack Butland is beaten by Jason Puncheon's winner. PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD. Jack Butland is beaten by Jason Puncheon's winner. PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD.

TONY Pulis hailed Jason Puncheon after today’s winner against Stoke City made amends for last week’s spot-kick miss at Tottenham.

Puncheon came in for plenty of stick from fans across the land following his error from 12-yards at White hart Lane seven days ago.

But it was all smiles today as he grabbed the only goal of the game early in the second half against Pulis’ former side to lift the Eagles off the foot of the Premier League table and out of the dreaded drop zone.

The SE25 boss said: “We had no problems with Punch. He has missed a penalty, albeit by a great distance, but that’s what happens in life, you get ups and downs and especially being a professional footballer.

“The most important thing for him was to get back on and do what he does best, and that is playing football.

“He is a good player and he can do things, can create chances and score goals.

“It is more like riding a bike and falling off the first time, you make sure you get back on that bike quickly and start pedalling again.”

Pulis added: “It is a pleasing result for us because we need to win home games, and to get a clean sheet as well was good.

“I was really, really pleased.”

Palace almost added a second late on when Jack Butland pulled off a trio of stunning saves to keep out Joel Ward, Puncheon and Stuart O’Keefe.

And Pulis admitted another goal would have gone a long way to calming his nerves in the dug-out.

“Butland’s saves at the end made it more tense for me,” the Palace manager said.

“I was hoping and praying we’d get a second goal to relax a little bit but the lad made some great saves in the end.

“As I said last week this is not the defining moment, the defining moment is in the future so what we’ve got to do is make sure we keep our feet on the ground.

“We need to bring some players in and that will strengthen us.

“I think the lads are waiting for a few to come in as well and then push on from there.

“We will give it a good crack, as we’ve done since I’ve walked into the club.”

Follow @NewsShopperSprt on Twitter for live updates from next week’s FA Cup fourth round tie at Wigan

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