Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis has been named the Premier League Manager of the Year for 2013-14 after lifting the Eagles out of the bottom three and helping propel them to an impressive 11th-place finish in the Premier League.
The Times' chief football correspondent Oliver Kay confirmed the news on Monday:
Pulis took over last November after manager Ian Holloway agreed to part ways with Crystal Palace after less than a year at the helm. At the time, the Eagles were sitting on just four points in the league table. They would finish with 45.
Following Sunday's season finale against Fulham, Pulis talked about the memorable season, per BBC Sport:
"It's been remarkable," Pulis said. "I think if you look at the stats and everything else, it's just wonderful. The biggest stat is that we're the lowest budget in the Premiership, and we finished 11th. We've overachieved as a football club massively, and that's been great credit to everybody on the pitch."
The Sentinel's Lou Macari breaks down why he voted for Pulis:
Voting has just closed for manager-of-the-year and I went for Tony Pulis. I fancy he might win it, too, because members of the League Managers’ Association appreciate more what he did on a relative shoestring at Crystal Palace than what someone like title winner Manuel Pellegrini has done sitting on a fortune at Manchester City.
The 56-year-old Pulis made several notable moves during January's midseason transfer window that paid huge dividends over the second half of the season and led Crystal Palace to a club-record five consecutive top-flight wins from late-March to mid-April.
Pulis more than likely locked up Manager of the Year honors following the Eagles' stunning 3-3 draw with Liverpool at Selhurst Park on May 5. Crystal Palace trailed 3-0 through the first 78 minutes before scoring three goals in a nine-minute span to draw level and salvage a point at home.
Crystal Palace would finish the season with eight league wins at home, just one shy of 2012-13 Premier League champions Manchester United.
With two more years remaining on his current contract, Pulis will have an opportunity to improve upon his efforts next season.
Although 2014-15 will bring new challenges and lofty expectations for Crystal Palace, Pulis has proven that he can put together a competitive squad and get the most out of his players. Pulis clearly did a fantastic job of managing Peterborough United transfer Dwight Gayle and should rely on the confident striker next season.
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