Pulis desperate for new faces

Andover Advertiser: Tony Pulis wants to bring in new recruits this January Tony Pulis wants to bring in new recruits this January

Crystal Palace need an influx of new players to boost their Barclays Premier League survival fight, according to manager Tony Pulis.

The former Stoke boss has challenged Palace's board to deliver a host of new faces to reinvigorate the Selhurst Park club's bid to avoid the drop.

Palace edged out Stoke 1-0 at home in league action on Saturday, Jason Puncheon netting the winner to shake off his horror-show penalty miss in last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Tottenham.

The Southampton loanee provided a calm second-half finish to light up an otherwise opportunity-light afternoon.

Pulis said Puncheon's resolve never wavered in the wake of his penalty nightmare, but the 27-year-old's palpable relief at full-time suggested otherwise.

Palace are yet to strike in the January transfer window despite being linked to a host of targets, including Brondby's towering Denmark international forward Simon Makienok.

Pulis has called on co-chairman Steve Parish and sporting director Ian Moody to deliver a nucleus of new arrivals to bolster their drive away from the foot of the table.

"We're hoping and praying we can bring some players in. We really need to bring some players in and that will strengthen us," said the manager.

"The lads are waiting for a few to come in as well and we'll kick on from there.

"That's not for me to say, that's for Steve and Ian to continue to handle."

Palace make the trip to Wigan for the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday, before Hull at Selhurst Park on Tuesday, January 28.

Pulis was able to toast his 56th birthday with victory over former club Stoke, one he admitted was tinged with emotion for his whole family.

"I was there for a long time and during that time it was my family supporting the club just as much as it was me working for it," he said.

"So it was certainly surreal for me, the whole day, but I am sure it was extremely surreal for them too.

"We were all in it together there and so we all felt this, as a family.

"It was fantastic to get the result and I was pleased for Punch (Jason Puncheon) because he just had to get back on that bike as soon as possible and start pedalling."

Expecting a host of twists and turns in the drop zone between now and May, Pulis said: "This is not the defining moment of that (relegation) battle, that's in the future, so we've got to keep our feet on the ground.

"The time to be out of the relegation zone is by no means upon us. There are still 16 games to go, so there is a huge amount to happen yet and we've just got to stay calm and keep on working."

Deflated Stoke boss Mark Hughes admitted his side have no excuses for the defeat.

Demanding far sharper defending, the former Manchester United striker also feels his side have lost their attacking edge to boot.

"We struggled in the final third and we lacked any real quality," he said.

"It was not where we should be at all and we've got to turn it round quickly."

Stoke face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in fourth round FA Cup action next weekend, with Hughes mindful of the need for rapid improvement.

"You cannot afford to defend like that in Premier League matches," he said.

"Certain things will come and we have some new players who will improve a lot as they settle in and get more training time into them.

"But there are certain elements we just have to sharpen up."

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