Premier League

Pulis wants three in a row

Stoke manager looks for balance between attack and defence

Pulis: Three in a row

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Tony Pulis is targeting a run of three consecutive Premier League wins by beating West Brom - something they have never done before.

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Stoke's fortunes have turned around in recent games after losing five straight games earlier in the season.

Two wins against Birmingham and Liverpool - the latter coming at the Britannia Stadium - have reinvigorated their season.

Pulis added Jermaine Pennant to his squad in the summer transfer window and believes that that along with Matthew Etherington, they now have a dual threat on either flank.

Despite having this new attacking dimension, Pulis feels they still have a long way to go to reach where he would like them to be.

"Everyone was talking about five straight defeats last week, that's how quickly things turn around," he said.

"The Liverpool result has to go up with one of the great days at the Britannia.

"To play the way we did should give everyone great heart and the players are very excited by the fact we ended up playing so well against Liverpool.

Expansive

"We have become a little bit more expansive this season, playing with two wingers, and trying to put a bit more pressure on the opposition.

"As you progress and get little bit more dynamic going forward you still have to find the balance where you are winning games and that means being strong at the back.

"The aim is to have these attacking players in the team and have the threat but also to be as solid as you can defensively.

"We have to make sure we stay as solid as we can and when we get the opportunity to play we play.

"The most important thing is not to get too carried away and keep our feet on the ground, ensuring the players don't get about their station."

Stoke have a surprisingly good record against West Brom, losing just once in 25 clashes with them, but it will be the first time Pulis has locked horns with Roberto Di Matteo.

Although both men are now managing Premier League outfits, their paths to the higher echelons of the game could not have been more different.

Former Chelsea and Italy midfielder Di Matteo managed for just a year at MK Dons before getting his big break with West Brom and securing promotion.

Contrast

The contrast to Pulis' route could not be starker as he spent 16 years serving his apprenticeship in the Football League before reaching the top-flight.

And Pulis concedes that opportunities are easier to come by if you have been a big-name player.

"It was a great job at the time to get and he has got them promoted, so he has probably got 10 out of 10 from his chairman at the moment," he added.

"I'm all for managers starting at the bottom of the league and working through it; it is a great education for everyone and makes you appreciate the job you have got.

"Roberto was a great player and if you are a big name you have to work very hard to get to the top of the tree.

"It is the same in life. Sometimes it is a case of not what you know but who you know.

"The fact they have been great players doesn't mean they will be great managers and some have gone on and done things and some haven't.

"It is the law of the jungle, it is something you have to overcome and get on with."

What will be the outcome in the match West Brom vs Stoke?

  • West Brom
  • Draw
  • Stoke