Pulis: Not just a firefighter

Tony Pulis is up for the challenge of keeping Crystal Palace in the Premier League, but insists he is not just a "firefighter".

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Tony Pulis: Wants to take Crystal Palace

Tony Pulis: Wants to take Crystal Palace

Tony Pulis is ready for the challenge of keeping Crystal Palace in the Premier League, but insists he is not just a "firefighter".

The 55-year-old was on Monday unveiled as the Eagles' new manager on a two-and-a-half-year deal, replacing Ian Holloway who resigned from the job a month ago.

With Palace in the bottom three of the table and favourites to go down, chairman Steve Parish has turned to Pulis in a bid to try and stay up.

The Welshman won promotion with Stoke and kept them in the top flight for four seasons before leaving his post in May, and has a reputation for producing hard-to-beat sides.

Palace will need to be just that considering they are in the bottom three and a win away from safety, but Pulis is adamant there are more strings to his bow than the basics.

"What people don't talk about is I've been promoted out of every division and been to the final of an FA Cup," he said at his arrival press conference.

"People talk about me being a firefighter, but I have also been very successful. It annoys me that in this country you get pigeon-holed for certain things.

"Everyone talks about not being relegated, but as a manager I have got a few promotions."

Palace's search to replace Holloway, who resigned citing fatigue, has taken over a month with a number of options explored.

"Why not?" asked Pulis when he was asked about his decision to move to Selhurst Park.

"It's a club in the Premiership, a smashing club with great history. It's going to be a tough job and I have not come in with any illusions.

"This club has had a remarkable few years and the board of directors and chairman have to be applauded for looking after the club and pushing it on.

"This is an opportunity to try and achieve something Palace have not achieved; get in the Premiership and stay there and take the club forward."

Parish defended the time it had taken to appoint Pulis, citing a number of reasons why he had done so.

The fact that caretaker Keith Millen got a vital 1-0 win at Hull on Saturday vindicated his caution and he was keen to stress how he had never been in a rush.

"What's the right amount of time to get it right?" he said.

"If you're hiring a manager for two to three years, you need to get it right.

"We weren't expecting Ian to go, so we needed to loook who was available and see who was right for the club.

"Keith was doing a great job and took the squad where they wanted to be. I didn't see a desperate need to get someone in and it all worked out quite well.

"We have four points from our last two games which is a great platform for Tony.

"I don't bring people into my club after half an hour."

Pulis will start life in the Palace dugout against Norwich on Saturday and follow that up with clashes against West Ham and Cardiff.

"I'm still very ambitious, I like climbing hills," he said. "This is going to be a tough job, but one I will relish.

"I told the players we will be underdogs. People expect us to be relegated."


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