Pulis - Pressure a problem
Potters boss pays tribute to Speed
Last Updated: November 30, 2011 11:02am
Tony Pulis: Admits modern managers are under intense pressure to produce results
In the wake of Gary Speed's tragic death, Stoke boss Tony Pulis believes more consideration needs to be given to the pressure placed on modern managers.
News of Speed's passing was announced on Sunday, with the 42-year-old having brought the issue of depression in sport into the limelight.
Peter Kay, the chief executive of the Sporting Chance clinic, has revealed that more than 10 professional footballers have already been in touch with his organisation since the weekend.
Pulis can understand how mental health issues could be a problem for managers especially and has backed the Professional Footballers' Association to provide the right support.
"It's a pressurised game," he said.
"Especially management, management is a very lonely job, especially when you're losing. You have to be very strong as a character and as a person to get through difficult periods.
"As a player, I just enjoyed playing football. Every day that I woke up I thought I'd been blessed. So I can't speak for people who do get depressed being a professional footballer.
"The players' union is as strong as any union in the world and I'm sure (PFA chief executive) Gordon (Taylor) would be the first one to want to get that sorted out and get his members organised and set up in a way that would protect them."
Pulis has also paid tribute to his fellow Welshman, with Stoke set to join the football world in paying tribute to Speed with a minute's silence ahead of their Europa League clash with Dynamo Kiev on Thursday.
He said: "There's been a lot of tributes to Gary, and rightly so, he was a smashing person. First and foremost a great, great footballer.
"As a family man , I wouldn't know, I didn't know his wife or his two children, but he spoke very fondly of the boys and taking them away to games. It's tragic. The football world has lost not just a good man but a good football man as well.
"The important thing is we give Gary's family the time and respect they need now to get through this. Football drops into insignificance in that respect."