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Tigers win a boost but Eagles still need to make signings
3:54pm Wednesday 29th January 2014 in Sport
EAGLES columnist WILL TAYLOR feels it was a huge win last night against Hull but the display underlines exactly why Palace need fresh faces.
THERE were strong winds reported in south London today as every Crystal Palace fan collectively unclenched and exhaled a huge sigh of relief.
Last night’s 1-0 win over Hull saw the Eagles claw their way up into 14th place, opening up a five-point gap from the drop zone.
But much like the part blowfish, part old lady figure of Steve Bruce, the performance certainly wasn’t pretty.
In fact, this was perhaps the least satisfying victory in terms of overall performance.
There wasn’t the usual intensity or fluidity flowing through the side, as Hull somehow failed to capitalise on repeated lapses in concentration.
The subdued display highlighted the now overwhelming need for reinforcements, with Pulis’ favoured first XI showing signs of fatigue from their repeated use.
Palace may only be a point from 10th-placed Swansea, but the contrast in terms of our possession stats is alarming.
Possession doesn’t always equal points, but Pulis needs players who can dominate with the ball, as well as without it.
He needs technically-gifted personnel, eager to impress so that he can mould them into Premier League players through his unique brand of organisation and discipline.
It is amazing how many managers seem to overlook the essential task of telling players what to do and where to be in defensive situations.
Under Holloway the back four were enthusiastic but ultimately clueless, while yesterday’s clean sheet marked the fifth shutout in seven matches at Selhurst Park.
Pulis’ achievements deserve to be rewarded with the signings he so desperately craves, even if his dealings in previous transfer windows are a cause for concern.
As we’ve seen with Mesut Ozil and Juan Mata, the right players can transform a club’s ambitions, serving to renew hope among fans and inspire better performances from existing players.
And while such marquee players may be slightly out of our price range, we must have identified a prolific striker capable of bagging a glut of goals before May.
It’s time to for the club to take another deep breath, dig deep into the coffers and ensure we give ourselves the best chance of avoiding another relegation.
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