Pulis delighted by Etherington form

07 February 2010 09:23
Etherington scored one goal and made another in the Potters' 3-0 win at the Britannia Stadium, on the day the club commemorated Matthews' final appearance in a Stoke shirt 45 years ago.

Following Danny Higginbotham's early opener, Etherington crossed for Mamady Sidibe to make it 2-0 in first-half stoppage-time before capping the victory after the break by turning Michel Salgado and placing the ball beyond the reach of Paul Robinson.

It was yet another eye-catching display from the former West Ham winger which Pulis felt was entirely appropriate for the occasion.

"It was lovely for Matty to score, for a winger to score a goal of that quality, real quality," said Pulis, who was also celebrating his 300th game in charge of Stoke.

"I've just been told he (Matthews) didn't score many goals but he provided bundles.

"I'm delighted, and delighted for the team and everyone at the football club."

Pulis has been touting Etherington for some time to follow in Matthews' footsteps by breaking into the England team and the manager believes it may have already happened if the 28-year-old was plying his trade at a more high-profile club.

"If he was at a more fashionable club, I think he'd be getting more attention," Pulis said.

"But having said that, the kid was different class again today.

"He can do that - you watch him in training and Matty has got everything in the locker.

"He works so hard for the football team as well, he gets up and down the pitch. You ask Danny Higginbotham (who played behind him at left-back) what he thinks of him when we haven't got the ball and the work he puts in.

"He's got all the tools, Matty. He's a very fit lad, technically very good and he's got pace.

"I'm very pleased and people are talking about him playing for England and Ryan (Shawcross) playing for England. It's brilliant for us."

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce lamented his side's defending for the first two goals which left them with a mountain to climb in the second half.

"It was poor defending on two separate occasions in the first half," Allardyce said.

"It's taken the game into Stoke's hands and it's pretty poor defending from our point of view to say the least.

"It's one that we've worked at over the last few days and unfortunately the lads haven't taken that onto the field.

"In a very competitive game like this you have got to do your job right in those areas and had we taken the opportunity to defend right, certainly on the second one, and just come in (at half-time) 1-0 down, we would have looked to have gone on from there."

Rovers also had defender Chris Samba sent off by referee Steve Bennett just before the hour mark for pulling back Ricardo Fuller.

Samba had earlier been booked after a tussle in the box at a corner with Shawcross - who was also shown a yellow card - a decision that left Allardyce mystified.

"For me it is very, very harsh indeed," Allardyce said.

"I don't know why he got booked for the first time because we see attacking players going up to try to make a run and we see them being held up by the opposing players.

"We saw it on Monday night in Stoke against Sunderland and nothing was done by (referee) Howard Webb.

"This time there was something done by Steve Bennett and he booked both players and that results in one of ours being sent off. I'm a bit amiss about where the rules lie on that."

Source: Team_Talk