Pulis: Ince up for the battle

Tony Pulis believes Thomas Ince has proven his character purely by deciding to join Crystal Palace's Barclays Premier League survival bid.

Blackpool midfielder Thomas Ince

The 22-year-old has long been linked with a move to the top flight and signed on loan from Blackpool on the final day of January's transfer window.

With clubs such as Stoke and Liverpool also understood to have shown an interest in the England Under-21 international, Pulis feels Ince has shown he is up for a challenge by opting for a move to the Eagles.

"He showed a lot a character by coming to the toughest club on offer, one that needs results," said the Palace boss.

"It's credit to him. I am sure he would have spoken to his dad about it.

"But the big thing that impressed is me is that I remember I spoke with Tom once at a game at Bolton. Him and his dad were there, that was about two years ago.

"That was the only previous time I had spoken to Tom before we met the other day. I was very impressed with him, irrespective of his footballing ability. He's a very grounded lad. He knows where he wants to go."

Ince, whose father is former England player Paul Ince, is due to be out of contract at Blackpool in the summer and will no doubt be looking to impress potential long-term suitors, including Palace, during his spell in south London.

Pulis, who also completed deals for Joe Ledley, Scott Dann and Wayne Hennessey on transfer deadline day, has all of his new recruits available for selection in Saturday's crunch game at home to West Brom.

Palace go into the game just one point and one place outside the Premier League's bottom three but Pulis revealed attracting a player such as Ince did not take too much effort.

"He's a real good kid and is very grounded," Pulis added.

"I think his dad and his mum deserve a lot of credit for the way he acts and the way he is. Tom is a determined lad and he wants to be successful which is really what we need.

"How did I sell it to him? Just that we needed players like him to come in and help us to achieve something people said at the beginning of the season could never be achieved. That's a lovely challenge for someone.



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