Premier League

Tony Pulis says Stoke have dropped points away due to poor concentration

Tony Pulis: Expects Everton to be very tough opponents

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Stoke boss Tony Pulis says his team need to improve on their concentration levels away from home.

Pulis's men visit Everton on Saturday and are on a terrible run of form away from the Britannia Stadium, having lost their last five away games and won only one of their last 24.

"From the first game of the season, where we played at Reading and they scored a late penalty (to make it 1-1), to the last away game at Newcastle, where we should have been home and hosed (but ended up losing 2-1), we have managed to shoot ourselves in the foot," said Pulis.

"We have done that continuously.

"Every time away from home, it is about concentration levels as much as anything.

"In the Premier League, if you switch off for two minutes or do something silly, nine times out of 10, you get caught.

"So concentration levels are vital, although it is also important they enjoy themselves, make sure they go out there and express themselves, and work really hard.

"The Everton game will be one of our toughest games (left this season), without a question of a doubt.

"Everybody will talk about (Marouane) Fellaini and (Steven) Pienaar not playing, but they have got some other outstanding players.

"They have got (Victor) Anichebe, (Nikica) Jelavic, (Kevin) Mirallas, (Leon) Osman, (Leighton) Baines, (Sylvain) Distin, and it looks as if (Phil) Jagielka might have a chance of being fit as well. They have a very, very good squad there."

Home form key

Stoke have 34 points at the moment, seven more than Wigan in 18th, and Pulis says that, important as the Everton game is, his side's home form may prove key in their bid to secure their Premier League status as soon as possible.

"We have got four big games at home and they are the ones in which we are really looking to pick the points up and do well," said the manager.

"We will go to Everton and be as positive as we can, but it is the four games at home that are massive for us.

"We want to get to 40 points as quickly as we can and get everyone settled down again."