Party time for Potters

16 May 2009 06:50
Stoke 2-0 WiganSoccer Saturday analysis

Alan McInally watched Stoke throw a party as they signed off at fortress Britannia in style.

Goals from strike duo Ricardo Fuller and James Beattie sank out-of-sorts Wigan and meant that Tony Pulis's side signed off their home games this season with a welcome win.

The Potters were of course, already safe, but still put on a show for their supporters, who were their usual vocal selves.

"Wigan started quite well but it was party time, really," McInally told Soccer Saturday.

"It was their last game, they are going to be safe, there was a lot of gladitorial outfits, fortress Brittania stuff, etc, etc.

"The noise they generate is unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable - and they drive their team forward. There was no end-of-season feel about this.

"Tony Pulis had obviously said to them 'it's the last home game of the season, it's been a fantastic season for us, now go out and prove why you are where you are' - and they did exactly that."

Stoke have come in for some criticism for their direct approach this season, but it has meant they avoided an instant return to the Championship, proving many a pundit wrong in the process.

But McInally, nicknamed Rambo in his own playing days, refused to put the boot in.

Instead he hailed the presence and power of Beattie and Fuller, as well as Pulis's shrewd signings in the January transfer window.

"They attacked and attacked and Fuller and Beattie were handful," he said.

"Both defences did well but it was that constant, constant beating at the door and eventually Wigan succumbed to the power of Beattie and Fuller.

"Matthew Etherington did well down the left and he and Beattie came in and January and have done really well for them - and they played a big part again today."

Source: SKY_Sports