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BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

Selhurst Park , England

Attendance: 22519

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Crystal Palace

  • Jason Puncheon 16'

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Pulis rebuffs quit rumours

PA Sport

Tony Pulis has dismissed as fictitious claims he is preparing to walk away from Crystal Palace.

The Welshman was appointed boss after Ian Holloway left Selhurst Park and is preparing Palace for Tuesday's match with Hull after guiding the Eagles out of the relegation zone.

When asked about the speculation over his position, Pulis, who has never been relegated in his management career, said: "I'm not one of those people. I spent 10 years at Stoke.

"I'll say this now, the supporters have been absolutely wonderful, absolutely fantastic.

"There would have to be a massive reason to leave and let them down. I'd find that very difficult to do."

Pulis was appointed on the day Palace beat Hull at the KC Stadium in November, with the team under the caretaker control of Keith Millen.

In his 12 games in all competitions since, Pulis has overseen five wins and a draw; four of the victories have come in the Premier League to take Palace two points clear of the drop zone entering the Hull contest.

The Eagles boss has often spoken of the need to recruit and denied further speculation linking him with moves for FC Twente's Danish defender Andreas Bjelland and Brondby striker Simon Makienok.

"I don't even know them," Pulis said. "If you said there's B£1million if you knew what position they played in, I wouldn't have a clue."

A return for Manchester United winger Wilfred Zaha, who appears likely to sign for Cardiff on loan, was not possible as Palace already have two players on loan in Jason Puncheon and Cameron Jerome.

Pulis is likely to have to shuffle his defence against Hull as Jonny Parr is expected be out with the concussion he sustained in the FA Cup loss at Wigan.

Shane Long will make his Hull debut, nearly five months after being won over by manager Steve Bruce.

Republic of Ireland striker Long was set to join the Tigers in a deadline day switch from West Brom on September 2, only for the Baggies to pull the plug when their own pursuit of Romelu Lukaku fell through.

That left Long sitting with Bruce at Hull's training ground in Cottingham when both men realised the transfer was off.

But Bruce did not waste his time with Long, laying out his plans for Hull and planting a seed that came to bear when West Brom again agreed a fee of around B£6.5million this month.

"It was a weird one (in September). I think there was 10 hours from finding out about the deal to get it done and it got pulled a the last minute," Long said.

"It was a strange situation to be in but these things happen in football.

"I tried to be as professional as I could be. I was a West Brom player and I think anyone there would tell you I gave my all on the pitch and trained hard every day.

"But it was hard to try and get it out of your head.

"I think it was always in the back of my mind that West Brom wanted to sell up and I was lucky that a club like Hull were interested.

"After meeting the manager (Bruce), he left a good impression on me and I wanted to play for him."

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