Pulis banks on home form

19 March 2009 02:28
Tony Pulis is relying on his side's home form to help them avoid an immediate return to the Championship. Stoke currently sit in 18th place in the Premier League but are level on points with both Portsmouth and Newcastle who are directly above them. The Potters welcome fellow strugglers Middlesbrough, who are two points behind them in 19th, to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday. Pulis' side have an impressive record on their own patch, with all of their seven league wins coming at home, including successes against Aston Villa and Arsenal. "We have a good home record and when the first whistle goes we will give it a right go," he told Sky Sports News. "I think it's something to do with the stadium. It's the atmosphere here. Fantastic"The crowd at the old ground (the Victoria Ground) were fantastic and we have managed to recreate that here. "They're desperate for us to stay in the Premier League and they're doing their best. "Peter Coates the chairman has also decided that he will keep the season tickets at Championship prices for next year. It's a reward for the way the supporters have supported us this year. "Even the games we have lost at home we have had good performances and in the coming games we have to match that and try and win a game away from home before the end of the season." Pulis is also quick to play down the enormity of the game with Boro, insisting that he will be treating it like any other match this season. "We started the season and it was a massive game when we got beat by Bolton," he added. "Then everyone said our first home game against Aston Villa was a massive game. It's just gone on and on. Destiny "The great thing for us is we have our own destiny in our own hands and that's all we can ask for. "I have the greatest respect for Gareth (Southgate) and his coaching staff. We know it will be a really tough game. "If we are not with it, if we are not as lively as we should be, then we won't get the points." Despite the close nature of the battle at the bottom the former Plymouth boss is not concentrating on the teams around him. "We have to focus on what we can do," he explained. "We can only affect on what we can do, not what everyone else does, so we must concentrate on that. "I'm absolutely delighted we have five home games and four away and we will give it our best shot."

Source: SKY_Sports