Premier League: Tony Pulis wants Stoke fans to boo him rather than players
Stoke manager Tony Pulis says the fans should direct any anger they are feeling towards him rather than the players.
Last Updated: 10/03/13 2:05pm
Pulis' team have only won one of their last nine Premier League games and were booed off the pitch after last Saturday's 1-0 loss at home to West Ham.
However, Pulis hopes the fans will get behind the team at Newcastle on Sunday and send any abuse they wish to throw in his direction.
"If they're going to criticise, I'd rather they criticised me," said Pulis. "I'm on the bench, you can't affect the game that much, and you need the players to be playing with confidence and freedom.
"Those players don't deserve criticism, they've been absolutely fantastic for this football club. If there's a gripe, have it with the manager, leave the players alone.
"If they go out there feeling the supporters are behind them, it's a lot easier than thinking the supporters are just waiting for a moment to criticise.
"We need to instil that little bit of strength and steel into the players, without a question of a doubt.
"When you go on a run of games when you're not winning, you always get a dip in confidence, but you have to accept that. You have good times and you have bad times.
"Football is a reflection of life and it ebbs and flows. You have periods where you think you can rule the world and the next day it feels like everything's on top of you."
Despite the poor run, Stoke remain 11th in the table, but supporters are unhappy with a goals for tally in the league of 26, which is only better than bottom club QPR's haul.
Pulis said: "I've been managing for a long time now and I know things change very quickly. The supporters of this football club will be supporters all their lives and you have to accept criticism.
"If they pay their money, you have to accept they have the right to say what they think, whether you think it's right or wrong.
"We went 10 games without losing and, in those 10 games, we played worse than we have in some of the games that we've lost.
"That's always disappointing but we're in the Premier League and we have to take it.
"The most important thing is we have to make sure we stick together. This is when you need that little bit of support from everybody around. But I've been there before, I know all about it."