Pulis backs Sherwood, questions AVB role

Crystal Palace's Tony Pulis praised Tottenham for picking Tim Sherwood but questioned whether Andre Villas-Boas had been undermined in transfer dealings last summer.

Tottenham Hotspur's Portugese manager Andre Villas-Boas

Sherwood succeeded Villas-Boas as head coach after the Portuguese was sacked for a number of heavy losses despite a summer outlay of almost £100million on seven players, in compensation for the big-money departure of Gareth Bale.

The spending power of Premier League princes Spurs highlighted the paupers of Palace, who are endeavouring to strengthen to aid their fight for survival and enter Saturday's match at White Hart Lane in 18th place in the table.

Pulis, who succeeded Ian Holloway in November, was not surprised by the appointment of a young British boss in Sherwood, who had no previous management experience, but suggested the former Blackburn and Spurs captain will have little clout in transfer dealings in working under chairman Daniel Levy and technical director Franco Baldini.

"I think Daniel's made a very good appointment," Pulis said.

"Tim's got the potential to go on and be a top manager, without a question of a doubt.

"I'm pleased it's a British coach that gets one of the top jobs and I'm sure he'll make the most of it.

"He was a very good player, a very determined player. He seems a very focused lad.

"He's very lucky to get a club like Tottenham as his first job and I'm sure he'll be determined to make a good fist of it.

"Fingers crossed he does it, as long as we beat them on Saturday."

Asked about Spurs' spending spree last summer, Pulis added: "Was it Villas-Boas who spent all that money? Was it the manager picking the players?

"Because if I had £100million to spend, I'd really want myself to be spending it on players I wanted for my team, for the way I wanted my team to play.

"You can spend £200million but if it isn't on the players that you think are necessary for your team to be successful, you might struggle a little bit."

Pulis is in no doubt Tottenham are favourites on Saturday and lauded the quality of their squad, particularly striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who was frozen out by Villas-Boas but has since scored four goals in seven appearances.

"Adebayor is now playing to his potential again," Pulis added.

"He seems to have very rich patches in his career where he's almost unplayable.

"He's in one of those rich veins now. He looks an extraordinary player again."

Holloway had his own struggles integrating new signings into the Premier League squad after Palace won promotion by winning the Championship play-off final.

Now Pulis plans a further squad overhaul, while reintegrating Stephen Dobbie following his loan and Jerome Thomas and Glenn Murray, who have resumed training following long-term injuries.

Pulis is chasing players who will work hard to aid Palace's bid for survival, which had seemed a forlorn prospect not so long ago before four wins and a draw in nine games since the Welshman's appointment.

Pulis said: "We have to bring in people to strengthen us.

"The important thing at this football club is that we bring players in who have got something to prove.

"I don't want to be bringing in players who just want to jog through six months.

"We need people who are going to roll their sleeves up, work hard and make a difference."

Pulis has given a list of targets to Palace chairman Steve Parish but refused to be drawn on specific players when asked about Blackburn defender Scott Dann.

He added: "I've been linked with about 40 different players."

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