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Work-rate impresses Pulis

Potters boss admires commitment as fixtures come thick and fast

Tony Pulis: Praising his side during a tough run of fixtures

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Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has hailed his players for the way they are tackling the rigorous fixture schedule presented to them.

The Potters boss spoke out against the run of matches earlier in the week with his side facing Valencia in the Europa League on Thursday night before a lunchtime kick-off against Crawley Town on Sunday.

Despite losing the first leg of their last-32 clash with Valencia 1-0, Pulis believes the Stoke players are coping very well with the challenge facing them.

The 54-year-old believes his side are working harder than the biggest names in the league and expects his men to be given credit for their achievements.

"This is Stoke City, we're playing Thursday night and then Sunday in the FA Cup, you look at Manchester United and Manchester City, they're not in the FA Cup and they're the big clubs," he said.

Credit

"This is what this club has been doing. It's been a lot of games and they've been tough games so you've got to give credit to the lads."

Although Stoke are set to face League Two outfit Crawley as they look to book an FA Cup quarter-final place, Pulis refuses to allow complacency in the Potters dressing room and recognises the cup's ability to cause an upset.

"This is Stoke City, we're playing Thursday night and then Sunday in the FA Cup, you look at Manchester United and Manchester City, they're not in the FA Cup and they're the big clubs."

Tony Pulis

Quotes of the week

"We did fantastic in the cup last year and we want to have another cup run if we can," he added.

"They're always difficult games. Our biggest thing is to make sure the lads recover in time. They're a good side, the way they play, they've had a great season so far and it'll be a really tough game."

Unfortunate

The lone goal in Thursday night's encounter came when Mehmet Topal fired a 30-yard wonder strike past Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic but the shot-stopper is confident the Potters could still win the tie.

"We knew we were playing a top-quality side and I think we acquitted ourselves pretty well and were a little bit unfortunate we didn't get the bounce that we needed," he said.

"If can play the same way when we go there we've still got a chance. We're going to give it our all again. These opportunities don't come along very often.

"We hope it's a great occasion and that the fans enjoy it. We enjoy the support, we know they're there and I hope we can turn things round for them."

What will be the outcome in the match Crawley Town vs Stoke?

  • Crawley Town
  • Draw
  • Stoke