Tuncay close to league start
Pulis happy with striker's performance in Carling Cup defeat
By Richard Bailey. Last Updated: October 28, 2009 4:20pm
Tuncay: Desperate for league start
Tony Pulis believes Tuncay is ready for his first Premier League start since joining from Middlesbrough after his performance against Portsmouth.
The Stoke manager was impressed with the 27-year-old in the Carling Cup clash at Fratton Park on Wednesday despite the Potters losing 4-0.
The Turkey international has had to make do with four substitute appearances in the league since his £5million arrival but Pulis insists he is closing in on a start.
Many questioned the signing at the time, with some sceptics wondering whether the former Fenerbache forward would fit into Stoke's system.
"I was very, very pleased with Tunny," he told The Sentinel. "He looked a lot sharper and a lot more together in what we are trying to do.
"I thought at times he was absolutely magnificent and is getting close to what we want. The other players are getting a belief in him and an understanding of him."
Pulis was also pleased with Mamady Sidibe after the striker made his first appearance for seven months following knee trouble when he came on in the 55th minute.
"I thought Mama was brilliant when he came on, but unfortunately we didn't play up to him enough," he added.
"He looked confident, a real handful, and won more headers than I thought he would. We thought about giving him the full 90 minutes but if we'd done that we might have taken too much of a chance with him.
"If I had to put him on the bench on Saturday, he wouldn't let us down."
Despite trying to take the positives from the defeat Pulis could not hide from the fact that his side had been uncharacteristically generous in defence.
"I don't think they scored what I would consider a good goal because we gave them the goals and that was untypical of us," he highlighted.
"The goals we conceded were completely and utterly not Stoke goals to concede. In the final third, both defending and attacking, the quality and resilience we usually show wasn't there.
"I don't think they were a lot better than us, but our defending was poor and our going forward was typified when Liam Lawrence shot against someone when there were three players inside.
"But even though we have defended abysmally at times, there's one or two who've shown they are ready to come into the first team if we get injuries and suspensions."