Dwindling FA Cup attendances must be addressed - Pulis

Just 12,700 people watched Crystal Palace beat West Brom in the third round at the Hawthorns and the Eagles boss feels that something should be done to combat the slide
Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis wants more to be done to attract crowds to FA Cup matches after just 12,700 people watched his side knock out West Brom.

Dwight Gayle and Marouane Chamakh both found the net at the Hawthorns on Saturday to send the Eagles into the fourth round for the first time in four seasons.

However, with so few people in the stands, Pulis believes that the competition may be in danger of losing some of its magic.

50/1 Crystal Palace are 50/1 with Bet365 to win the FA Cup
"There's got to be some way of filling stadiums up, especially for third-round and fourth-round ties at Premier League grounds," the Welshman told the media. "That has to be looked at because it is a wonderful competition.

"For all of what is going on, we've got to try, as a nation, to make sure we keep it a great competition by filling stadiums for games - that's certainly a help.

"It's difficult because it's just after New Year, people have spent a lot of money, so you understand that but, as I said, there's got to be a way, at this time of year, that clubs can attract full houses. How they do it, you'd have to ask chief executives."

With attendances poor at grounds across the country, including a showing of just 6,960 as Wigan drew 3-3 with MK Dons, West Brom caretaker boss Keith Downing insists that the Baggies had made an effort to tempt fans to the stadium.

"The club cut the prices so they tried to get people in," he explained, "but this area is still a difficult area, it's still trying to survive economically, and it's tough for people to keep on producing money to watch football."