sport

Pulis reveals Fergie influence

Tony Pulis has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson played in a key role in convincing him to take the Crystal Palace job.

Pulis has done a superb job since being appointed as Palace boss on 23 November, replacing Ian Holloway, who left with the club bottom of the Premier League table with just four points from their first 11 games.

In contrast, Palace's 3-2 win at Everton on Wednesday was their fourth in a row and took them to 11th in the table, a total of 40 points from their 34 matches and 10 clear of the relegation zone.

This upturn has led for calls for Pulis to be named manager of the year, but the former Stoke boss has revealed he had doubts about even taking the job and that it took supportive words from former Manchester United boss Ferguson and Stoke chairman Peter Coates to convince him otherwise.

"I spoke to Steve (Parish, the Palace co-chairman) about four or five times," said Pulis. "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."

Defender Scott Dann, who scored one of Palace's goals against Everton is in no doubt about who should be named manager of the year.

"For me, it is a no-brainer," he said. "Obviously there are other managers out there - the likes of (Liverpool manager) Brendan Rodgers and (Everton boss) Roberto Martinez - who have done a great job fighting at the top.

"But I think anyone who rules out the job he has done at Crystal Palace would be silly."