sport

Pulis expecting tough test

Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis is expecting a tough test for his side when they face Newcastle at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Palace lost 2-1 at Chelsea last time out but there have been clear signs of improvement at the club since Pulis took over from Ian Holloway.

Prior to the narrow defeat at Stamford Bridge, Pulis' side defeated West Ham and Cardiff at home.

But the former Stoke boss admits they will do well to make it a hat-trick of home wins when they face a Newcastle side that lie sixth in the Premier League table going into the final round of fixtures before Christmas.

"We will be playing a really good team and a top club in Newcastle United," said Pulis.

"They have got a very good manager and some outstanding players and their record over the past few months has been exceptional.

"Their away performances have been good so we know how tough it is going to be, we have to be really on it to get anything out of the game."

Pulis is keen to add to his squad in the January transfer window but he has been pleased with the response of the current crop of players.

"The response of everybody around the football club has been first-class and results help. We need to continue that," he added.

"There are areas where we have to improve and where we will look to strengthen.

"I have spoken to Steve (Parish, co-chairman) and the directors about that but it takes time.

"There are certain areas where we can move a few players because we are overloaded and there are certain areas where we are not so strong.

"It will be a case of trying very hard to get the right players who suit us and it will suit them as well.

"The most important thing if you are bringing players in is that they are of sound character and that they improve your team and we need players that are going to come in and improve the first XI."