Pulis worried by fixture pile-up

Tony Pulis has been left frustrated by a fixture pile-up that could see Crystal Palace's international players feature in three matches in just six days.

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis

The Eagles do not face Swansea until Sunday, and mid-week international fixtures follow, with a number of Pulis' squad looking at playing another 90 minutes when Southampton visit Selhurst Park next Saturday.

With 12 Barclays Premier League games remaining, Palace sit 16t, just two points clear of the relegation zone, and Pulis does not want to be left counting the cost of fatigue.

"I'm not pleased that we are playing late Sunday," he said.

"Then the lads go off to play on Wednesday and then come back to play Saturday.

"I don't think that is what we need at the present moment, but it isn't just this football club, it is every football club where managers will be concerned about their players."

One thing that has pleased Pulis in the last week has been his squad's reaction to their 2-0 defeat against Manchester United.

Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney scored the goals for the reigning champions at Selhurst Park, but Pulis has been happy with the efforts in training.

"The players have been very good," he said.

"You have runs in the Premier League where you can go three, four or five games without winning. It is important that they understand that and recognise that and keep going. But they have been very good this week, they have worked hard."

Glenn Murray made his first start in nine months against United as he finally looks to put a serious knee injury behind him.

The forward's goals propelled Palace into the play-offs last season and Pulis has backed the 30-year-old to play a big part in the Eagles' fight for top-flight survival.

"I think it was a good game for him to play in in respect it was the champions of England coming to Selhurst," Pulis added.

"The crowd, the atmosphere and everything else I knew would push him on and that is what it has done,.

"We desperately need a fit Glenn Murray to be playing in games this year because we think he will score us the goals that will help keep us in the Premier League."

Murray was a slight doubt for Sunday's trip to south Wales but, having been eased back from a knock suffered against United, will be fit and available at the Liberty Stadium.

Jerome Thomas has also returned from a back injury, meaning Pulis has a fully-fit squad to choose from as he looks to pick up a third away win of the season to move further clear of the bottom three.



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