Pulis urges players to stay alert

Stoke boss Tony Pulis has urged his players to stay alert to the challenge as their lengthy season draws towards its conclusion.

The Gunners stunned.

The Potters have just three games remaining of a memorable campaign which has already included 53 fixtures and a run to the last 32 of the Europa League.

Everton are the season's penultimate visitors to the Britannia Stadium in the Barclays Premier League tomorrow ahead of a trip to QPR and a home clash with Bolton.

And after a creditable draw with Arsenal on Saturday, Pulis is pleased that his players are still fighting as they push for a top-half finish.

Pulis said: "It's been a long season but the players are still going.

"We've got a very difficult game here on Tuesday night.

"Everton, along with Arsenal, are one of the real form teams at the moment.

"We will have to be really on it to get anything out of it and then we finish with QPR and Bolton, both fighting for their lives.

"All the games left are against teams playing for something.

"In one respect it makes that difficult for us but in another respect it is a challenge we have to pick up.

"It is going to be a really tough finish for us."

Stoke are 14th but have a game in hand on most of their mid-table rivals and are just six points off eighth-placed Liverpool.

Everton are two points further ahead and, after overcoming the disappointment of their FA Cup semi-final loss, are pushing strongly for a place in Europe.

Pulis would expect nothing other than a stern test from the Merseysiders and their respected manager David Moyes, who last month celebrated the 10th anniversary of his appointment.

Pulis said: "I don't know what David puts in their water but they tend to start very slowly and then they drive forward in the second half of the season. That is what they have done.

"They will be desperately disappointed they never got to the cup final - I know David and I know he will be.

"But he is a good lad, a good football man. He is sensible and he gets the job done without too much fuss and attention.

"That is what he has continued to do. He has stabilised them.

"I have a lot of time for him, he is a top manager. It is a traditionally top, top club and he has done a fantastic job."

One area where Pulis has been particularly impressed with Moyes this season has been in his January recruitment.

After more than two years of limited activity due to financial constraints, Moyes was able to bring in Darron Gibson, Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar during the last transfer window.

The trio have fuelled the Toffees' strong finish with Jelavic, having scored 10 times since his arrival, in particularly good form.

Pulis said: "If you look at their squad, they have got some very good players.

"Gibson, Jelavic and Pienaar have really helped him this year - three great signings after Christmas.

"People say you shouldn't make signings then, but have a look at what David has done."

Pulis anticipates a good occasion with the game a near sell-out and the Coates family, who own the Potters, having a soft spot for the Toffees.

He said: "It will be a great atmosphere, it always is when Everton and Liverpool come to the Britannia.

"Their supporters are very good, so it gives us a really good challenge.

"Every time you go to Everton you get well looked after. It is the Coates family's second favourite team, so Deidre will have half of the family over from Ireland.

"They are always welcome, as we are when we go to Goodison Park."



comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular News

News & Update