Crystal Palace chief Tony Pulis insists Norwich City’s goal led a charmed life

Tony Pulis knows he faces a tough road ahead with Crystal Palace. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus I

Tony Pulis knows he faces a tough road ahead with Crystal Palace. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Tony Pulis insisted Norwich's goalmouth led a charmed life after the Canaries' spoiled his Eagles' debut.

Gary Hooper's 30th minute close range finish at Carrow Road moved the hosts seven points clear of Palace in the Premier League standings but Pulis felt his new charges deserved more reward. Martin Olsson's brilliant goal line headed clearance foiled Barry Bannan minutes after Hooper's strike, before Sebastien Bassong's sliced clearance flew up and over his own bar four yards out in the second half of a game spent predominantly in home territory.

'The one that Bassong clears off the line - how the hell he gets that over the bar from such a tight angle is unbelievable,' said Pulis. 'And ther was the lad (Olsson), his header, first half, to stop Barry's shot from going in. Cameron (Jerome) also has a chance late on. We all know in this game you have to take your chances but to be honest we didn't have the breaks in this one.

'I can't fault the lads though, they worked their socks off and gave it everything but you need a break. There are certain clubs in the Premier League that we can't compete with and then there are others who you have to compete with and when you play those teams you have to make sure you are on it and I feel we have come away from home and done exactly that.'

Pulis is under no illusions he faces a huge task to haul Palace clear of the bottom three after inheriting Ian Holloway's squad.

'I know how tough it is going to be and I have spoken to the board of directors and given them my thoughts on what is ahead of us but it is important I put something in place and build from here,' he said. 'They understand if I'm going to do something I want to stay and build it, like I did at Stoke.

'What people don't realise is one of the toughest jobs and most important jobs is during the close season, because close season is when you put in place what happens during the season itself.

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'Unfortunately for myself and the football club, I've not been here close season. That's no disrespect to anybody, because we all have different ideas and ways of doing things, so we have to get on with that. We have shown a great level of effort and commitment and I am really pleased with what I saw.

'It's going to be tough, I know the odds and everything else, we've got a mountain to climb but it's not the first time I have been in this position. As a manager you can only ask the players to do their best and give everything for the football club.'

Pulis' immediate priority is planning for two crunch Premier League home games against West Ham and Cardiff at Selhurst Park this week.

'I would have preferred to have had a break and had more time to work with the lads,' he said. 'Games come thick and fast in December and we now have two games at home this week, We are going to come up against teams who have had time in the Premier League and had a period to build and we are trying to do that, but this is our first year.

'One thing for sure is we will keep working hard. I enjoy coaching the team and getting them to play as a team and I felt we played through the pitch quickly at times and we got Barry into good positions - there were two or three passes that were inches away from being really good passes - and we got good movement down the side of the pitch and crosses in, which is also important.'