Pulis: Palace needs more goals

Goal-shy Crystal Palace are in desperate need of greater firepower and more options up front, manager Tony Pulis has admitted.

Palace

Selhurst Park boss Pulis has challenged Palace's players to fit his regimented mould or face being shipped out in the January transfer window.

Former Stoke boss Pulis has confirmed he must sell before he buys in January, as he bids to keep Palace in the Barclays Premier League. Cameron Jerome and Marouane Chamakh have hit form since Pulis' arrival last month, replacing Ian Holloway.

But former Arsenal forward Chamakh is suspended for Palace's Boxing Day trip to Aston Villa.

Pulis said Dwight Gayle is Chamakh's obvious replacement, but refused to pin too much expectation on the former Peterborough United striker.

Pulis said: "We've got Gayley who could play up there but that leaves it thin, that leaves us a little bit short.

"Gayley's been alright, there's no problems.

"It's just a very big ask for someone who was playing non-League football only a year ago to come up and play in the Premier League, especially for such a young lad as well.

"That is a big, big call.

"When you're in the position we're in, it's tough to get young players to carry the flag for you."

Pulis withdrew Barry Bannan at half-time in Palace's 3-0 home defeat to Newcastle last weekend.

But he could yet pair the former Aston Villa man with regular full-back Joel Ward in a re-jigged midfield. Palace are without injured midfield duo Kagisho Dikgacoi and Stuart O'Keefe, and Pulis conceded that almost inevitably means a tactical reshuffle.

He said: "I was really disappointed to get two players injured in the same position, and it's left us a little bit bare.

"You're hoping and praying that when you get quite a few long-term injuries you're not going to pick up any more, and that you're certainly not going to pick up any suspensions like Chamakh.

"It's just luck that's turned against us.

"And if anything we're in a worse position now than when I came in on that front.

"Barry's done smashing for us, I just didn't think Saturday was his day, and as a manager those are the decisions you make.

"Joel Ward's done fantastic since I came in and I actually think he did well at the weekend.

"And he might have to do that again on Boxing Day.

"It's five or six games, too early to tell about his long-term potential, but he's certainly impressed me.

"You've got to try to get the best players on the pitch.

"Last week we knew Newcastle would move the ball around in midfield, so we needed legs in there and Joel's got that ability to get around the pitch all the time from playing full-back.

"We could need that again, and it's about adapting with what you have and using it as best possible."



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