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Palace seeks consolidation after great escape

AP - Sports

LONDON (AP) -- Crystal Palace's rise from the bottom of the standings - with just four points from its opening 11 games - to survival with three matches remaining was one of the stories of the Premier League last season.

After that roller-coaster ride, this season is all about consolidation - and in Tony Pulis, Palace has a manager adept to delivering just that.

Pulis established Stoke as a solid Premier League force from 2006-13 and has still to be relegated as a manager. That should give Palace fans plenty of confidence ahead of its second year back in the top division.

The arrival of Norway center back Brede Hangeland should strengthen a defense that was already one of the sturdiest in the country and Fraizer Campbell's arrival from Cardiff will give Pulis much-needed options in attack, with Palace having the third-worst scoring record last season with just 33 goals from 38 games.

Pulis' priority will be to maintain the work rate and solidity his team showed in the second half of last season. If he achieves that, Palace fans will be looking up the standings rather than at what's below them.

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In: Fraizer Campbell (Cardiff), Brede Hangeland (Fulham).

Out: Jose Campana (Sampdoria), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Cardiff), Danny Gabbidon (released).

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