Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pulis Casts Sentiment Aside Facing Boyhood Favourites

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pulis Casts Sentiment Aside Facing Boyhood Favourites

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Bryans

TONY Pulis has fond memories of watching Cardiff as a child - but will not go easy on the Bluebirds when he takes his Crystal Palace side to Wales today.

A dramatic last-gasp equaliser in a 3-3 draw at West Brom earned Cardiff a point last weekend, but they remain three points behind the Baggies as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to guide them to safety.

Palace are five points clear of 18thplaced Cardiff after a 1-0 win over Chelsea and will all but seal a second successive Barclays Premier League campaign if they follow that up with a victory in the Welsh capital.

Pulis, who replaced Ian Holloway at Selhurst Park in November, has taken the Eagles from the bottom of the league and now looks like keeping them afloat while one of his boyhood favourites merely tread water. "I watched Cardiff when I was a young boy and I also watched Newport when I could," he said. "If I didn't have games on a Saturday, if I wasn't playing for the YMCA then we would jump on a train and if we could we would get to Cardiff.

"That was when (John) Toshack was playing, (Ian) Gibson was in midfield, and they had a very, very good team. My dad took me to watch Cardiff on a Tuesday or a Wednesday night when they played Real Madrid when there were 50,000 there."

Cardiff won 1-0 in that game, the first leg of a European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final, but other than a loss in both a League Cup final and an FA Cup final it has taken the Bluebirds some time to re-establish themselves.

Having been promoted as champions last year, Cardiff's first Premier League campaign has been hindered with off-field issues surrounding supporter unrest at certain changes being made to the club and with Malky Mackay being replaced by Solskjaer.

The ex-Manchester United striker has struggled to bring any momentum to the season and, with just six games remaining, Cardiff are still one of the favourites to be relegated.

With Pulis' long-standing connection to the club, the 56-year-old does not want to see Cardiff drop out of the top flight - but insists there will be no favours from his players when they meet this afternoon. …

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