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Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish admits: I didn't think Tony Pulis was right for us

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CRYSTAL Palace co-chairman Steve Parish has revealed he was "concerned" about appointing Tony Pulis as his new manager following Ian Holloway's departure last October.

Pulis' name was put forward almost immediately as the Eagles set about their task of finding someone to lift them away from the bottom of the Premier League following just one win in eight league games.

The former Stoke City boss had earned a reputation for playing a certain style of football while at the Britannia Stadium in his six years, which was something Parish was not too keen on replicating at Selhurst Park.

However, on the back of winning the Premier League manager of the year from the League Managers' Association on Tuesday, Pulis has won people over tremendously while buying into what Parish wanted in south London.

"Ian Holloway said to me after the Fulham game 'I don't think this is working' – he mentioned Tony's name, and I didn't really know Tony," Parish said.

"I wouldn't say he was the standout candidate, because I was concerned about the style of play and maybe some things I'd seen with how Stoke City had played.

"There was that myth with the noise surrounding Tony. I was concerned on two counts. One was 'I don't particularly like that style of football. I can see it's effective and it's second-ball football, but it's not us, I don't think'.

"And the other thing was I didn't think we had the people to play it.

"Not only does it require a big, big presence up front, but there's far more intelligence to it than people realise, because people have got to make runs off you and you have to get people in and around that person.

"I just didn't think we had the personnel to play like that. I don't think I've seen one long throw since Tony came in.

"It was a bit of a risk to balance the type of football you want the club to play, so it has an identity all the way through from the youth team to the first team, and then compromising the identity everybody might want for survival.

"After more and more discussions with Tony, and really just basically realising he wouldn't be able to play like Stoke, he'd have to find another way."

Pundits and fans all around the country have applauded the way Pulis has organised the Eagles, turning their confidence around and making them hard to beat.

The defence has been dogged and brave, while the likes of Yannick Bolasie, Jason Puncheon and Maroaune Chamakh have allowed Palace to break in numbers on the counter-attack.

And Parish has even compared the current side to how previous ones had played under a certain former manager he used to watch in the stands during four different spells.

"I think it's really important that the identity of Crystal Palace has been reflected this season in the latter part, of the way we've been playing," he said.

"Tony has embraced our identity, put his own mark on it and really it's a Coppell-esque kind of side.

"We're strong, we're organised, we're resilient, we frustrate teams and we've got devastating pace on the break.

"You want a three if you can who can score goals and we've done that to good effect.

"From my point of view, for the long-term benefit of the club, which is what I'm all about, I think that, as much as anything, is what has excited Palace fans."

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish admits: I didn't think Tony Pulis was right for us


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