Pulis: Palace survival could eclipse all

Tony Pulis believes keeping Crystal Palace in the Barclays Premier League would eclipse anything else he has achieved in his time as a manager.

Tony Pulis

The Eagles host Pulis' former club Stoke on Saturday and currently sit bottom of the Premier League, albeit just one point behind 17th-placed West Ham.

During his decade as Stoke boss, Pulis took the club from Championship strugglers to Premier League regulars, also guiding the Potters to an FA Cup final and into the Europa League.

The 56-year-old also boasts several accolades from his earlier managerial career further down the divisions but maintains that would all pale against becoming the first man to keep a Palace team in the Premier League beyond one season.

"When you look at Palace and the structure of the football club and where it is, this will be as big of an achievement as anything I've ever achieved," he said.

"I went to Priestfield [Gillingham] as a young manager and took over a club that had only just stayed in the league and were getting crowds of 2,000.

"They stayed up the last game of the season before I joined, they were close to going out and a day or two from going out of business completely.

"I had four years there and left, Peter Taylor will tell you, the best squad of players he ever inherited. That squad went on and finished in the top 10 of the Championship.

"That's something for me to look back on and give me time to build something to be proud of [at Palace]. I did that at Stoke two-fold because I was there twice as long."

Pulis remains keen to add to his squad at Selhurst Road in the transfer window and has already stated his desire to bring experienced top-flight players to the club.

His predecessor Ian Holloway recruited no fewer than 17 new faces in the summer but Pulis has so far been unsuccessful at bringing any further signings in.

The Welshman knows that club's must continue to improve and cited Steve Bruce's Hull, who were promoted alongside Palace last season and have splashed out on Everton's Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long from West Brom in the past week, as a prime example.

"This league is a very relentless league," he added.

"It's one that if you stand still, you'll fall back. Hull City have proved that this week. They had a good start to the season and he [Bruce] has gone out and spent a lot of money on two centre-forwards who, I think, will guarantee them Premier League football.

"It has cost them a lot of money, not just with the transfer fees but everything else connected to it. Steve recognises how tough this league is and he's gone out and done some very, very good business."

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