England legend predicts tough times ahead for Crystal Palace and Tony Pulis

Difficult second season: Tony Pulis could find it difficult to improve on last season's heroics, says Banks

Difficult second season: Tony Pulis could find it difficult to improve on last season's heroics, says Banks

First published in Crystal Palace FC
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England legend Gordon Banks reckons keeping Crystal Palace in the Premier League for a second year could be an even bigger achievement for Tony Pulis following their miraculous survival last season.

The Eagles looked dead and buried in November, which Banks insists was the perfect situation for the former Stoke City manager to come into.

As an ex-Stoke man, Banks continues to take a keen interest in the fortunes of his former club.

And having watched his team both fly high and struggle under Pulis, the 1966 World Cup winner has his reservations over Palace's chances of kicking on this season, admitting that another season safe in the Premier League would be a huge achievement.

"I think it probably will be an even tougher job this season to keep them in the league," said Banks.

"The enthusiasm comes with a new manager and everyone pulling together up the table saying we can do this lads.

"But when the new season starts and it is the same old faces again it can be a bit harder.

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Tough times: England legend Gordon Banks says Palace will face a fight to stay in the Premier League this season

"But he [Pulis] has been terrific for them. They got the right man who could drag them out of relegation which is what they wanted.

"He was the right man because with the more defensive game he played where they were losing before they were getting a point and then they started to win and before they knew it they were creeping up the league."

Gordon Banks is a supporter of the StreetGames Football Pools Fives, a programme that takes football to young people in disadvantaged communities across the UK. Go to: streetgames.org/footballpoolsfives

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