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Pulis on.. West Ham United

Filed: Sunday, 20th April 2014
By: Staff Writer

Tony Pulis reflects on a win that secures his Place side's safety for another season in his post-match press conference, exclusively for you here in full...

Tony: No complaints - a definite penalty?

Yes. Sam said his side could have had a couple of penalties, I think we could have had a couple more as well. I think one's hit [Kevin] Nolan on the hand in the first half and the second one with Jason Puncheon we could have had a penalty there. So both sides are probably screaming that they could have had penalties.

This defensive resilience - four clean sheets in five games?

They've been fantastic, but I also think we've played some really good football. Today, again, we could have scored three or four goals; donít take away what we've got. This is a different team that at Stoke, it's got different strengths. We sat down and had a look at the strength of the team and we worked out a system that we thought would suit them.

Yet you have to be string, you have to be resilient. We have great pace on the break and the two wide players again today were absolutely outstanding. [Yannick] Bolasie was the best player n the pitch.

Nine points in a week and you're mathematically safe now; what have you said to the guys?

The big thing for me was the turnover. To play at Everton on Wednesday night and to not get back until half-past-two in the morning, then to try and get them recovered and ready to go ... The effort and commitment they put in today was just wonderful. And it's a group; the people in the team have been wonderful and everybody's bought into it.

The supporters have really been fabulous. I had nine or ten years at Stoke and they were wonderful there but these have bought into how much and how important they are as a group to help the players. Not so much now that we're winning but when things weren't going very well at the beginning.

If you went to Selhurst Park we'd go a goal down and the supporters would still be getting behind the team. So they have to take a lot of credit as well.

And that group wanted [Mile] Jedinak to take the penalty?

I just let them [decide]. Whoever's confident for me is always the one. Unless you've got a specialised penalty taker. Glenn Murray was right up when we got the penalty saying "get me on there!" [laughs] He did, you think I'm joking! But Mile stepped up and thank God he did.

Never mind the penalty, his overall contribution was excellent?

Well you have to deal with [Andy] Carroll. He's a handful and he was that again today, so you have to deal with it. Mile's helped the two centre halfs; that little pivot in the heart of our defence.

Should Joel Ward go to Brazil?

Should he? I don't pick the England team, you'll have to ask Roy [Hodgson]. Blimey, that was one from left field! [laughs] It's up to Roy.

Could you ever imagine that with three games to go the club would be safe?

I looked at the last few fixtures and our last two home games - against Man City and Liverpool - are an absolute nightmare. So we had to be close by this stage because I wouldn't like to go into those games needing points. But it's been a remarkable turnaround and everybody at the football club deserves a lot of credit, they've really bought into what we've tried to do.

They've worked very hard on the training ground and that doesn't just happen, you have to work very hard and they have. They've stomached a lot of weeks without having days off and a lot of stuff that would maybe bore a lot of people. But, they've bought into it and itís got results - and I'm very pleased for them because they're a good group, a very good group.

Did you know before kick off that you were safe because of the Norwich result?

No, I didn't. I didn't want to know. I'd rather just concentrate on the game. It kills me when the television is on, people watching TV before games.

Five wins in a row, that's a club record for Palace in the Premier League era. Do you get the feeling around the club that the squad is something special and you can really push on from there?

We've done absolutely fantastic - but in football, if you start tapping yourself on the back someone will come along and kick you up the backside so it's very important they keep their feet on the ground. It's important that we approach the last three games with the same attitude and the same approach, we know that it'll be tough.

We have a responsibility to the Barclays Premier League because it is the best league in the world and the most competitive, without a doubt.

Do you think that people will start appreciating the way you play, the attractive and attacking way you play?

Well someone's just said to me now that that monkey is off your back. We played well at Stoke at times and never got the credit, but you get pigeonholed with it. I think we're an exciting team. And, we've missed our best player today, [Marouane] Chamakh has been wonderful for us. He really links the work we do defensively with the work we do going forward.

I thought Joe Ledley, in there today again [was excellent] with his quality on the ball. He slows the team down to allow us to get up the pitch; it's just wonderful.

How personally pleased are you with maintaining your record of not having been relegated?

Everybody was telling me not to take it. It was only Peter Coates and Sir Alex [Ferguson], they were the two who said there's plenty of games left to do it in.

Are you already thinking about what players to add next season?

No, I'm thinking about a glass of wine of wine! [laughs] I'm going to sit down with Sam [Allardyce] now.

Thank you very much.

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