Pulis - Remarkable Season Finishes Nicely
Manager Tony Pulis was pretty happy with our two all draw against Fulham today, because it meant we ended a 'remarkable' season on a mini unbeaten run.
Fresh on the back of our efforts to secure a point from a losing position in the Liverpool game, a goal at the death from Fulham stopped us backing that up with a win, but speaking to the press following the game, Pulis was just delighted with how our season had gone.
'If you had said to me that we were playing at Fulham, and that was the game that was going to decide whether we stayed up, I'd have taken it. To be perfectly honest I would actually chopped your hands off. What we've achieved has been absolutely remarkable and you've got to give credit to everybody at the football club.'
Pulis goes on to say that the supporters have been 'wonderful' all season long in their support for the lads, and the players themselves have been 'first class' to work with, and really have given him everything he's asked for and given their all to turn our campaign around, and he couldn't be more pleased.
Of course, one player today will take all the plaudits and that's Dwight Gayle, and the gaffer said he was expecting big things from him next year now he's more adjusted to the league following his big money move from Peterborough last summer.
News Shopper carry the following after match quotes from the gaffer.
'When I first came into the club Dwight was the marquee signing. We'd spent a lot of money on him and he looked as though he had the weight of the world on his shoulders in lots of respects. I don't think he was really integrated within the main core of the group and he looked a little bit on the fringes. We've spent a lot of time working with him and opening him up as a person and as a player and he's become a lot closer to the group, a lot closer to his mates in the dressing room and I think he just needed that, he didn't need the pressure that could have been put on him.'
Pulis goes on to say that it was the pressure on him he felt, that was holding him back on the pitch, so taking him out of the limelight the way he did, and giving him time to get used to the club without the focus being on him has really paid off now, and he believes fans are seeing that in the last few weeks with his performances and his confidence.
'The last couple of weeks he's been brilliant on the pitch. Since Christmas he has improved immensely.'
With Gayle being 24 and having come from non league and then so quickly into such a big money move, it will have needed a period of adjustment for him and Pulis acknowledges what a big jump he has made, not only in football terms but also in terms of his life and the rewards that football can obviously give, but having had this 12 months under him now, the gaffer believes that with a good pre season under his belt to further boost his confidence, given his natural ability in front of the net, 'I would expect him to give us a good return next year.'
He's certainly more than shown the signs of it lately, so onwards and upwards for him and us now you'd hope.
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