Tony Pulis took Crystal Palace role after long talk with Sir Alex Ferguson

Two candidates for Manager of the Year: Everton's Roberto Martínez, left, and Crystal Palace's Tony Pulis do battle. Photogra...

Two candidates for Manager of the Year: Everton's Roberto Martínez, left, and Crystal Palace's Tony Pulis do battle. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images
The Crystal Palace manager, Tony Pulis, has revealed Sir Alex Fergusonwas a key influence in his decision to take on the job at a time when he had considerable doubts about it himself. When Pulis was confirmed on 23 November as the successor to Ian Holloway, things were not looking promising for the Eagles, who were bottom of the Premier League with just four points from their opening 11 games of the campaign.
Now, with four more fixtures remaining, their survival appears secure after Wednesday's 3-2 win at Everton – their fourth victory in a row – took them to 11th place and 40 points, 10 clear of the relegation zone.
Asked if he had doubts about becoming Palace boss, Pulis – speaking after the 3-2 win at Goodison Park – said: "Yes, it was difficult. I spoke to Steve [Parish, the Palace co-chairman] about four or five times. I met him the one time and I didn't feel as though it was right. Then Steve wanted to have a chat again. He came down to Bournemouth and we had a good chat about it, and he convinced me that it was a challenge.Looking at it, everyone I had spoken to had said it was a difficult one. Sir Alex Ferguson and Peter Coates, my old chairman [at Stoke], were the only two who said to take it. And they were two good judges. The rest were very negative towards it. I hadn't seen Palace play and what they had or didn't have. But I enjoy a challenge. It's in my nature to stand up and try to march people forward and we've done that."
There has been talk of Pulis being a candidate for the Premier League manager of the season, and asked about that, Crystal Palace defender Scott Dann said: "For me, it is a no-brainer. Obviously there are other managers out there – the likes of (Liverpool manager) Brendan Rodgers and (Everton boss) Roberto Martínez – who have done a great job fighting at the top.
"But I think anyone who rules out the job he [Pulis] has done at Crystal Palace would be silly."


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