Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis has revealed that former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson played a crucial role in his decision to take the Selhurst Park hot-seat last November.
Palace were hailed as relegation certainties when Pulis agreed to succeed Ian Holloway as the club's manager, with one win from their first eleven games in the Premier League following their promotion from the Championship last May leading many observers to suggest relegation was almost inevitable.
Yet Wednesday's hugely impressive 3-2 win at Everton saw Palace clamber onto the 40-point mark for the season, inspiring Pulis to suggest his team had secured their top flight status four games before the end of the season.
When asked by reporters after the match at Goodison Park whether he had doubts about taking on the challenge at Palace, he admitted he needed some high profile encouragement to take on the job.
"Did I have doubts about taking it?" asked the Palace boss. "It was difficult. I met [Palace chairman] Steve Parish and spoke to Steve about four or five times and I didn't feel it was right.
"I looked at it and everyone I spoke to said it was a difficult one. Sir Alex Ferguson and Peter Coates, my old chairman at Stoke, they were the only two who said to take it. They were two very good judges.
"There was a lot of talk about having a pot of money to prepare for the next challenge in the Championship, but I never saw it like that.
"I hadn't seen Palace play, but I enjoy a challenge. It's in my nature to stand up and try to march people forward and we've done that.
"The players have been wonderful and you can’t do it without them. They have responded to us and given us everything.
"When we went to Hull for my first game as Palace manager, the club only had four points. Now we've got 40 points. It’s nice to say we're going to be a Premier League club and with four games left. The supporters have deserved this for sticking with us."