Pulis demands more goals from Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis has challenged his side to become "ruthless" in front of goal to secure their Barclays Premier League status.

Crystal Palace midfielder Jason Puncheon

The Eagles head to Newcastle on Saturday just three points above the relegation zone and having played more matches than Sunderland, where they drew 0-0 last weekend.

Palace have managed just two goals in the last four matches and will be without striker Dwight Gayle, who picked up an ankle injury in training this week, while Morocco forward Marouane Chamakh is still troubled by his hamstring problem.

Pulis accepts if the Eagles are to stay clear of being dragged back into the drop zone over their final nine games, then they need to put that statistic right.

"We have to take our chances when they come along," Pulis said at a press conference.

"The two away games recently, Glenn Murray had a fantastic opportunity at Swansea to put us 2-1 ahead, and then KG [Kagisho Dikgacoi] misses a great chance at Sunderland.

"They are big chances and opportunities and you have to take those in the Premier League.

"When they come along, you have to be really ruthless and take them.

"We have got to maintain being a very hard-working team and be an organised, disciplined, side but we have got to have the breaks in front of goal."

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will continue to serve out a three-match stadium ban at St James' Park on Saturda, after he was reprimanded by the Football Association following a head-butt on Hull midfielder David Meyler.

Pulis, though, does not expect that to make a major impact on how Newcastle set themselves up.

"It is not as though he has been taken away from the training ground, all of the work will have been done through the week and then he is away for the 90 minutes," said Pulis.

"But he has got (assistant manager) John (Carver) there and they have worked closely together.

"Alan will be watching the game, will be in contact with them and I am sure if there are things which need to be changed, then Alan will be telling them."

Newcastle will be without striker Loic Remy through injury, but fit again midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa should return.

Despite all of the recent negative headlines, Pulis is expecting nothing less than a stern test against the Magpies.

"To travel to the north east for two weeks consecutively is difficult," he said.

"Newcastle are a great football club, obviously they have had one or two problems which have been well documented, but we will expect a really tough game up there.

"They are very good on set plays and have real quality, out wide and through the middle of the pitch.

"Newcastle have good pace and being in the top half of the table means they are a very good side."

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