Pulis impressed by Gayle's Villa strike

CRYSTAL Palace manager Tony Pulis hailed Dwight Gayle’s winner at Villa Park and a team display to match in yesterday’s 1-0 victory over Aston Villa.

Gayle came off the bench to fire the Eagles to three vital points with a stunning injury time goal in and Pulis was delighted with the substitute’s strike, which lifted Palace out of the Premier League’s bottom three.

“It was a fantastic strike from Gayle,” Pulis said.

“He can do that. There is nobody more pleased than myself to see it go in, but it shouldn't take away the rest of the lads and what they’ve given.

“The keeper all the way through to the subs used were very, very good.”

After withstanding some early pressure from the home side, Palace grew into the game and had a number of opportunities to take the lead before Gayle’s goal, the best of which saw Barry Bannan denied by the post.

Pulis added: “The keeper made a wonderful save off Bannan. The ball was behind him when he touched it onto the post and Puncheon had two great opportunities as well.

“We created the chances.

“The first half was a bit of a dull affair but in the second half it opened up a bit and when you’ve got Bolasie and Puncheon down the sides, they have got great pace to break onto teams.

“We knew that if we came here and could keep them quiet then the crowd might get a bit restless and that’s what we managed to do.

“The first 45 minutes were always going to be important to us.”

Palace leapfrogged West Ham out of the relegation zone ahead of a daunting trip to Manchester City tomorrow.

Pulis, though, isn’t getting carried away with his team’s rise and knows the size of the task facing his team at the Etihad Stadium.

“It’s a 38-game season and we will take it game by game,” he explained..

“Manchester City will be very, very difficult for us.

“They’re averaging just under five goals per game at home.

“Apart from the Newcastle game last week, the team has done exceptionally well, even at Chelsea we had the chances to get a result there.”

The transfer window opens in a few days time and Pulis confirmed Palace will be doing some business to aid their survival quest.

He said: “It gives me an opportunity now to talk to the chairman and hopefully try and bring one or two players in, which we need. We really were down on players today.

“We have done very well over the past month or so and we’ve got to keep that going.

“The January window, from my experience, is a very difficult window to do business in but we would hope to bring a few in.

“We would have to move a few out as well, but if we can do that and bring the right ones in it will help us and it will give us a chance.

“Right from the beginning when I took the job, I said to the chairman I’ll do my best to try and give us a chance”

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