• Premier League

Fergie told me to take Palace job, says Pulis

ESPN staff
April 17, 2014
Tony Pulis was unsure about taking the Crystal Palace job before he spoke to Sir Alex Ferguson © Getty Images

Tony Pulis has revealed that former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson played a crucial role in his decision to take the Crystal Palace job last November.

Palace were hailed as relegation certainties when Pulis agreed to succeed Ian Holloway as the club's manager and, with only one win from their first eleven games in the Premier League following their promotion from the Championship last May, many observers suggested relegation was almost inevitable.

Palace rebuilt by Pulis

  • Crystal Palace are earning almost a point per game more under Tony Pulis than they were before his arrival on November 23.
  • They had seven points from 12 Premier League games at that stage (0.58 PPG) but have taken 33 from the 22 matches under Pulis (1.5 PPG)
  • If the Premier League table had been reset when Pulis took over, Crystal Palace would be 8th, only four points behind Manchester United and six behind Arsenal:
  • Premier League since November 23, 2013
  • 1. Liverpool 53 pts
  • 2. Manchester City 52
  • 3. Chelsea 51
  • 4. Everton 45
  • 5. Tottenham 40
  • 6. Arsenal 39
  • 7. Manchester Utd 37
  • 8. Crystal Palace 33
  • 9. Stoke City 30
  • 10. West Ham 27

Yet Wednesday's hugely impressive 3-2 win at Everton, which Roberto Martinez admitted hurt his side's chances of a top-four finish, saw Palace clamber onto the 40-point mark for the season, inspiring Pulis to suggest his team had secured their top flight status four games before the end of the season.

When asked after the match at Goodison Park whether he had doubts about taking on the challenge at Palace, he admitted he needed some high profile encouragement to take on the job.

"Did I have doubts about taking it?" Pulis said. "It was difficult. I met [Palace chairman] Steve Parish and spoke to Steve about four or five times and I didn't feel it was right.

"I looked at it and everyone I spoke to said it was a difficult one. Sir Alex Ferguson and Peter Coates, my old chairman at Stoke, they were the only two who said to take it. They were two very good judges.

"There was a lot of talk about having a pot of money to prepare for the next challenge in the Championship, but I never saw it like that.

"I hadn't seen Palace play, but I enjoy a challenge. It's in my nature to stand up and try to march people forward and we've done that.

"The players have been wonderful and you can't do it without them. They have responded to us and given us everything.

"When we went to Hull for my first game as Palace manager, the club only had four points. Now we've got 40 points. It's nice to say we're going to be a Premier League club and with four games left. The supporters have deserved this for sticking with us."

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