Premier League: Tony Pulis hails Crystal Palace spirit after Hull City win
Tony Pulis believes the spirit of the Crystal Palace fans will be crucial in their bid for Premier League survival.
By Ben Hampshire | @BH92
Last Updated: 29/01/14 5:32am
A first-half strike from Jason Puncheon was enough to see the Eagles to three points, drawing them level with Hull in the top flight standings.
Despite emerging victorious at the final whistle, Pulis' men were made to work hard as Hull created 13 chances on goal.
Palace remained resilient to the end however; something which Pulis believes the Selhurst Park faithful must take some credit for.
"The spirit and commitment, not just on the pitch, on the terraces as well, the last 20 minutes I thought they pulled us through," he told Sky Sports.
"It was lovely to pick up another three points and a clean sheet because we know we have got some tough games coming up."
During his time as manager of Stoke City, the Britannia Stadium became a renowned fortress and Pulis believes the same stronghold can be built in South London.
"We need them to be right behind the team and even when things weren't going well, they never stopped," he added.
"We need that togetherness and that group feeling. At Stoke we stayed up for three years because of the crowd, no doubt."
Hull fought to the bitter end as they sought the equaliser which would have seen them prevent a fourth successive defeat, but Pulis admits the Tigers have been one of the best opponents to visit Selhurst Park this term.
"That was as tough a game as we've played at our place," the Eagles boss claimed.
"They played a different shape and we found it difficult at times, especially when Tom Huddlestone got on the ball. The way he switches the play from one side to the other, it can push you back.
"It's a great result for us, I thought the lads were resilient, they showed the spirit that you need.
"We didn't play as well today but in the end the result was fantastic."
Hull could have had a penalty in the opening exchanges of the match when striker Shane Long went down under Danny Gabbidon's challenge in the box, but Pulis believes referee Roger East made the right decision to wave play on.
"I actually think Long runs across Gabbidon and there is no way Gabbidon can get out of that, if you look at it, I don't think Gabbidon goes across him," he said.
"There is contact but it's because he has brought it on himself.
"The referee was in most probably the best position to call it and for me he's called it the right way."
Less than 90 seconds had elapsed from the penalty appeal when Puncheon fired home after collecting his own rebound, following an excellent break from Yannick Bolasie.
Pulis was full of praise for Puncheon and believes the player has shown great personality after being widely criticised for missing a penalty against Tottenham.
"I thought Punch played well today. I am really pleased for him, he had a really tough week after that miss but he's bounced back and shown a lot of character," he said.