As Crystal Palace struggle in front of goal, Pulis warns against expectations based on Championship success

How it used to be: Glenn Murray was unstoppable last season, and fans expectations have been raised for this season

How it used to be: Glenn Murray was unstoppable last season, and fans expectations have been raised for this season

First published in Sport Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

Tony Pulis has urged fans to manage their expectations as the Eagles’ goal drought continues.

Last weekend’s 0-0 stalemate at Sunderland marked four Premier League games without a goal from open play.

Only Glenn Murray’s penalty in the 1-1 draw at Swansea City has put a tick in the goals scored column since the 3-1 win over West Brom on February 8.

Pulis has missed the services of Marouane Chamakh, his leading scorer with five league goals, who has struggled with a hamstring injury since that draw in south Wales.

However, Pulis is quick to point out that the lack of goals – Palace have the worst record in the Premier League with just 19 – is nothing new.

“We were not scoring loads of goals at the beginning of the season, something like three in nine games,” he said.

“When we came in, we needed a squad that would get us through the season and become better defensively, and we have done that.

“But what we must do is take our chances. In this league, you don’t get many and so when they come along, you must make the most of them.”

He added: “Glenn Murray may have got 30 goals in the Championship last season, but even if he was fully fit, he wouldn’t be doing the same in this league.

“If a striker manages nine or 10 goals then he can consider the season a success.

“This in the top league in the world, and our fans need to remember that.”

Palace are monitoring Chamakh’s progress with Pulis hoping for an improvement in the striker’s condition by the end of the week.

Pulis said: “We will have to wait and see. We will have a closer look towards Thursday and make a decision about the Newcastle game after that.”

After last weekend’s point, Palace dropped to 17th in the table, just three points above Sunderland who occupy the final relegation spot.

Moreover, the Black Cats have two games in hand on Palace and a slightly superior goal difference.

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