sport

Pulis wants back-to-back wins

Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis says the back-to-back home games against West Ham and Cardiff will have a major say in their fight for Premier League survival.

The Eagles host West Ham on Tuesday and Cardiff on Saturday, and Pulis is targeting maximum points before turning his focus to strengthening his squad in January.

"A victory would help us enormously, and six points could set us up before the transfer window opens, which will give me an opportunity to do things," he said.

"I have already been on the telephone trying to see who might be available by the end of this month. So right now our home form is vital.

"If we were to win both matches this week, it would help create some breathing space."

Pulis knows that a positive finish to 2013 will help him attract a higher quality of player to Palace in January.

"I haven't set us a points target, but I am confident we can pull it off," said the former Stoke boss. "By January, I will have been in charge for a month and will have a greater idea of what we need.

"I know it will take me a couple of weeks to get my feet under the table but two wins would really help. And I cannot wait to see how the fans react to what we are doing."

Palace defender Danny Gabbidon also outlined the importance of the upcoming two games in the club's bid to stay in the Premier League.

"We knew there was a cycle of four or five games coming up where we had to pick up some points," said the defender.

"We got a good draw against Everton, a good win at Hull and it would have been nice to get something at Norwich. But the next few games are probably going to shape our season and if we can pick up some points it is going to put us back in the mix and give us more chance to stay up.

"We don't want that gap getting too big. These games coming up now, we have got the opportunity to try to do that and close that gap and put ourselves right back in the mix. As long as we are the fourth-placed team [from the bottom] at the end of the season, then we will be happy."