Kitson - Pulis comments wrong

Striker explains reaction to being substituted against Chelsea

Kitson: Unhappy with comments

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Dave Kitson believes Stoke City manager Tony Pulis was wrong to call him petulant and fears he is being used a scapegoat.

"How can you attack a player in the media when you've spoken to that player earlier in the week and said, 'In future, come and see me one-on-one'? And now it's like I'm responsible for everything. 'Cloudy in Stoke? That's Kitson's fault'. 'The traffic's terrible on the way to training? Blame Kitson for that too'."

Dave Kitson

Quotes of the week

Stoke striker Kitson was criticised by Pulis for his reaction to being substituted during last weekend's 7-0 thrashing at Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Kitson made a gesture upon leaving the pitch and headed straight down the tunnel to the changing rooms before returning to take his place in the dugout.

Pulis suggested earlier in the week that Kitson, along with team-mate Tuncay Sanli, was being 'precious' and 'petulant' following a team meeting to discuss recent issues.

The former Reading forward, who was not involved in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Everton, is unhappy with Pulis' comments, particularly after the Stoke boss had expressed his disappointment that reports of a bust-up between Glenn Whelan and Abdoulaye Faye were leaked to the media.

Massive disappointment

"I appreciate Tony's the manager and has to make a decision," Kitson told the Sunday Times. "But in the fraction of a second that the number went up on that board, I felt massive disappointment and anger. There's a packed stadium, the game is on television and you feel a certain amount of humiliation.

"What got to me was that I wasn't playing badly. Walking off, I just saw the tunnel in front of me and was thinking, 'I don't want to sit where the players sit and have everyone's eyes on me. I want to get away from it'.

"I went straight to the dressing room, first time I've ever done that in my life. I showered, calmed down, got dressed and went straight back out to join the guys on the bench where I watched the rest of the game. I was in the changing room for about five minutes."

Damaging

Regarding Pulis' comments, Kitson added: "How can you attack a player in the media when you've spoken to that player earlier in the week and said, 'In future, come and see me one-on-one'?

"And now it's like I'm responsible for everything. 'Cloudy in Stoke? That's Kitson's fault'. 'The traffic's terrible on the way to training? Blame Kitson for that too'.

"It's just wrong to suggest I am detached from real life. And what Tony said about me wasn't right, it wasn't fair, and in my opinion it was just a smokescreen to deflect attention away from other things that have happened recently.

"I'm not going to have my name attached to false comments to cover up other things at the football club.

"I won't have it, because it's not true and it's damaging to me and whatever I may do in the future."