Pulis praise for 12th man
Potters move three points clear of drop zone after win
By Hayley Paterson. Last Updated: March 21, 2009 9:32pm
Pulis: Scrappy success
Tony Pulis hailed Stoke City's supporters and feels they have been vital to their battle to lift themselves out of the bottom three.
The Stoke faithful lifted the roof off of the Britannia Stadium on Saturday afternoon and urged their side to overcome Middlebrough.
The buzzing atmosphere paid off with six minutes to go when a characteristic Rory Delap thrown-in was headed home by centre-back Ryan Shawcross to snatch the win.
"It was a bit of a scrappy game at times but in the second half the supporters were absolutely amazing, they really drove the players on," Pulis told Sky Sports.
"They have been unbelievable this year and it's a massive help for us, a massive, massive help for the team.
"Every game is a big game and every win that you manage to get helps you along the way and it's a big result for us."
Both sides started scrappily with neither team looking convincing upfront.
Potters striker James Beattie had a great chance to fire home from close range but it brought out the best from Australian Brad Jones.
Middlesbrough hit back with a free header from Tony McMahon and a powerful strike from Tuncay Sanli but both efforts failed to trouble Thomas Sorensen.
Stoke supporters cheered their side on and raised the roof when Shawcross headed home.
Despite their underdog status, Pulis believes if City can recreate the same home form on their travels they have a great chance of staying in the Premier League, having now gone three points clear of the drop zone.
"We know its still going to be very, very difficult what we need to do is get a result, we're desperate to get a win away and keep the home form going.
"But there's so much tension in the games, so much pressure on people that at times you're going to get scrappy games.
"The important thing is you keep working hard and if we have to grind results out, we have to grind results out," the 51-year-old added.
Stoke now have a fortnight's break before they take on bottom of the table West Bromich Albion.