Tony Pulis: Work ethic and togetherness of Crystal Palace squad key to West Bromwich Albion victory
Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis faced the media following his sides’ 3-1 victory against West Bromwich Albion which put the Eagles temporarily up into 13th place ahead of the Cardiff v Swansea late kick-off and the Welshman was in no doubt about the secret behind the win.
“I am very, very pleased for the lads,” said Pulis.
“Not just the lads who have played, but the lads who have been left out - they’ve been absolutely wonderful.
“I worked with the team I played today very early in the week so the lads would have had an idea about what was happening and they’ve been fantastic.
“The big thing for the team is that the players who have been at the football club have done exceptionally well so the players who bring in have to work as hard as what they did and have that little bit more quality.
“We work very hard on certain things and you hope that they pay dividends. They might not be the most gifted but, my God, don’t they work hard?
“It’s the group that’s taken us where we are at the moment and it’s the group that will decide whether we’re good enough to stay in the Premier League or not - we’re in a dogfight with 10 other teams so it’s very, very important that the group is together and stays together.”
The three points were sealed for Palace by new signings Tom Ince and Joe Ledley who, on their Eagles debuts, struck a goal apiece in the first half before a late second half penalty from Marouane Chamakh, after he was brought down in the box by West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster, put the result in no doubt.
“Tom took his goal with aplomb really,” said Pulis “but the biggest thing about what Tom did today was actually his work and the way he did all the unglamorous stuff which good players do.
“We’ve been moaning a bit that we’ve not scored enough off of set plays and Joe’s header was first class.
“Looking back, and it’s easier to say afterwards, it looks as though the referee has got it right as Ben has caught him with his foot I think so Marouane touches it, comes away and then Ben comes through and his momentum catches Chamakh.”
The biggest cheer of the day came not when the home side struck the back of the night three times, but when Glenn Murray, the talisman of the Palace promotion-winning side, came on as a late substitute - his first game since May 2013.
“We told Glenn to keep warming up every 15 minutes to get the crowd going,” joked Pulis, “but they don’t need Glenn to keep on going; they’re absolutely wonderful and were again today.
Pulis will not rest on his laurels though as his side travel up to Merseyside for their Wednesday night Premier League clash against Everton and is already preparing for the match.
“You enjoy the win (today for 10 minutes afterwards but then you’re on to the next game,” he said.
“The one thing you must never do, especially a club our size, is get complacent and I’ll be watching Everton tomorrow. They’re a great side and we know how tough that is going to be.
“We then follow that up with Manchester United at home and that is what the Premier League is like - it can turn very, very quickly, so you have to keep focused and keep on believing.
“The job hasn’t been done and the most important thing you learn at the top level is to never take your eye off of the ball.
"It’s important that you keep picking points up and the great thing about today is that we’ve got a win and wins in the Premier League are enormous.”
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