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Kevin Phillips: New Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis can build on Hull win

Kevin Phillips - Kevin Phillips Posted 26th November 2013 view comments

What a difference a week makes!

Since my last column my side, Crystal Palace, have appointed a new manager in Tony Pulis and got a much-needed win at Hull City, which moved us off the bottom of the Premier League.

Pulis: new Palace boss aims to steer club to Premier League survival

Pulis: new Palace boss aims to steer club to Premier League survival

Those three points, won in caretaker boss Keith Millen's final game in charge, have given everyone at the club a huge lift - as you could probably tell by our celebrations at the end of the match - and it just goes to show how quickly things can change in football.

With Norwich on Saturday and then West Ham on Tuesday, we've got a really big week ahead of us but, after getting the job done at Hull, we can go into those matches with confidence.

As players, we knew Tony Pulis was sitting in the stand and it gave everyone that extra 5-10%, which in the Premier League makes a big difference.

Kevin Phillips
Quotes of the week

Before I get on to Tony Pulis' arrival at the club, I'd first like to pay credit to Keith, who has done an excellent job since he took over from Ian Holloway.

It's never the easiest thing to be put in caretaker charge of a club and you never know how long you'll be in that job for.

Four weeks was a bit of a surprise for him, the players and people looking in from the outside, but during that time he handled it well and shown he's well and truly capable of managing at this level and getting the best out of his players.

In the four games he's been in charge we've done very well; we've lost two, drawn one and won one but even the two we lost we were very unlucky.

I enjoyed working under him and so did the other lads.

Delighted

We found out Tony had taken over before the Hull game but he didn't come to the hotel or the dressing room, which I think, in hindsight, was the right thing to do.

As players, we knew he was sitting in the stand and that decision to announce the appointment before the game was the right one because, from my experience, it can give everyone that extra 5-10%, which in the Premier League makes a big difference. And so it proved.

We played really well and got the bit of luck we've been missing this season.

It was certainly a really good professional, solid performance and I'm pretty sure the new manager was delighted with that. It certainly makes the transition easier when it's on the back of a win like that.

The new gaffer came in on Monday morning and gave a sharp, quick talk to the lads, with the emphasis on needing to work hard and his desire to build a team which can survive in this league.

Those who hadn't played on Saturday then went out for training while the others did a bit of a cool down before he took his first training session with the whole squad on Tuesday.

This week is going to be about him getting his ideas across, stamping his authority on how he wants us to play and we'll be training every day as he's got a lot to cram in before our trip to Norwich at the weekend.

He's certainly got a lot of experience at this level and that's no doubt why the chairman has pushed hard to get him in.

He knows how to survive in the Premier League, too, having done it for seven years on the bounce at Stoke - although he won't have the budget he had there.

If we get to January in a similar position to the one we're in now he'll have to wheel and deal in the market. He understands that but the bunch of lads he's got at moment have shown they're well and truly capable of mixing it with big boys and getting results.

It's a tough challenge ahead for him and us but one that, with his experience, hopefully we'll be able to succeed in.

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