Norwich v Crystal Palace: Tony Pulis warns breaches of discipline will not be tolerated
The former Stoke City manager takes charge of his first Eagles game this weekend
Friday 29 November 2013
New Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis has warned that breaches of discipline will not be tolerated as he prepares for his first game in charge at Norwich on Saturday.
Pulis has told his squad they must appreciate the enviable privileges of professional football, otherwise they will have to look for a new club.
The no-nonsense approach is designed as an antidote to modern top-flight excesses, that Pulis believes would be fatal in Palace's battle to beat the Barclays Premier League drop.
"There will be no discipline issues while I'm here, hopefully," he said.
"The one thing I've always tried to embrace, at every club I've been at - the most important thing is the club and the team.
"The most important thing is for the players to respect the club, to respect the position they are in.
"The players have to realise how lucky and fortunate they are and I've told them that.
"They are extremely lucky individuals. They've got an opportunity to be financially secure in a job that everybody would die for in this country.
"If you can't be dedicated and single-minded in trying to get the best out of your own ability within the group and within the football club, and respect the club and the group, you shouldn't be a professional footballer.
"If there are people you don't think fit the group, then you try to get rid of them as quick as you can.
"Then it's about getting people who understand what you want, what the group is about, and hopefully adding to what the group already has."
Striker Cameron Jerome publicly criticised Pulis after the manager's Stoke departure, and now the pair are reunited at Palace.
Jerome's season-long loan from Stoke to Palace is expected to run the course of the campaign, even despite Pulis' arrival in south London.
The new Selhurst Park boss brushed off any lingering issues with the 27-year-old.
Pulis said: "Cammy called me and had a good chat with me, and there's absolutely no problem.
"Cammy played as well I've seen him play when he came on at Hull.
"I'm not interested in the 'he said, she said' and it comes back to the old adage of sticks and stones.
"I was brought up in the 60s, so people saying things and calling me names, I'll laugh them all off."
Palace head to Carrow Road with Pulis keen to play down suggestions he will mirror the aggressive approach he favoured at Stoke.
Pulis vowed to install whatever system best suits the Selhurt Park squad.
He said: "My philosophy is just to win games, it always has been to recognise the material you've got to work with, and get the best out of what you've got.
"You have to win games with what you're given.
"When you need to compete for results and a foothold, then you have to do the best you possibly can with what you've got to get results.
"That's no disrespect to the players here, that's the reality for clubs who cannot go out and sign whoever they like.
"It's not just one battle - we've got 20-odd battles to fight, to try to win the war.
"You pick up six points in the Premier League and it's amazing how quickly you can move up the table."
Pulis will not just bark the orders for the players to follow without discussion though.
Keen to canvas squad opinion on the best route forward, he said: "Everything we've given them this week they've embraced.
"I've opened it up to them as well. I want their contribution as well to what we're trying to achieve and get out of it.
"They've played quite a few games in this league so they have an understanding, so it's about how we handle that together."
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