Pulis 'gave us belief and soul', says Bolasie

Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie hailed the influence of Tony Pulis on the club's Premier League fortunes over the past five months.

When Pulis arrived at Selhurst Park in November, Palace had just four points from 11 games and were destined to be relegated back to the Championship.

But the former Stoke boss not only got Palace out of the relegation zone, but he has propelled them to the brink of a top-10 finish - coincidentally, his old side are one point above Palace in 10th.

Bolasie said Pulis' impact was instant.

"Everyone just went 'wow'," Bolasie said.

"It was no long speeches, it was short and sweet. We knew he was serious.

"He told us he had never been relegated, he stated that fact on his first day. He gave us belief and soul."

Bolasie said Pulis deserved accolades for keeping Palace in the top flight.

"He has to be up there for manager of the year," he said.

"Every pundit had written us off, said we'd be relegated by Christmas. Secretly we all thought it would be a long season, especially the way the results were going. The gaffer has changed a lot and we are playing unbelievably."

Bolasie said Pulis' matchday tactics of being long-ball centric at Stoke were embellished, and that he was a great one-on-one coach.

"Every day we work on shape. On a matchday everyone knows where they need to be. He has quiet words with all the players individually, too. Every player comes out of that chat feeling confident and it helped," he said.

"He told me to express myself, enjoy the fact I have to work hard. As soon as I did my game completely changed.

"He has taught me the other side of the game. Now, my man is the full-back. I am looking after him.

"I don't think he plays long ball either, like everyone exaggerated he did. I heard the rumours but he likes to play through the pitch and get me and Punch (Jason Puncheon) on the ball and we have been getting success with that."