Pulis keen for quick signings

29 July 2011 05:15
Stoke boss Tony Pulis is hoping to make at least one signing before the return leg of the club's Europa League qualifier against Hajduk Split.

Stoke have added just one player, Jonathan Woodgate, so far this summer and the weaknesses in their squad were highlighted against Hajduk at the Britannia Stadium on Thursday night when Ryan Shotton, usually a defender, was introduced as a late striker.

"We are threadbare at the moment," said Pulis in the Stoke Sentinel. "Having to bring Ryan Shotton on and play him up front showed we have to bring reinforcements in, and the club is doing its best to achieve that.

"Fingers crossed we can bring one or two players in over the next few days."

Birmingham duo Cameron Jerome and Scott Dann remain targets - a deal to sign the former is believed to be close - while the likes of Carlton Cole and Wilson Palacios are also on the radar.

Stoke's rise over the last five seasons could easily be described as meteoric, but Pulis accepts there are still great strides the club needs to take.

He said: "The biggest thing we have to do as a football club is improve our recruitment from the lowest level right through to the top level.

"We've brought people in to help us do that and we're really going to concentrate on that and put more resources into it.

"We've put roots down that hopefully will come through, and that's the next level of commitment I think the Coates family are looking at.

"We have to get players through our academy. We have to improve the recruitment so we're getting players who can play in our first team. It's been a little bit of a weakness for us and something we have to improve on."

Despite all the progress the club has made under Pulis, the Welshman also accepts he is ever under pressure from supporters waiting for signings.

"I'll bring in even more if we can but they have to be the right players," he said. "It saps you because you're desperately trying to get things done. You know it's important for the club and the supporters, and they're waiting as patiently as they normally do.

"I bet I'm taking some stick again but it's always difficult to try to get that quality in. You have to wait and be patient and hope you wear people down and in the end you get them."

It is hoped Stoke's new focus on recruitement will stand them in good stead for the future, but Pulis has no intention of forgetting about the present and his primary aim this season will once again be to preserve Stoke's place in the Premier League.

"The Championship is laden with clubs who have had more experience of the Premier League than Stoke," added Pulis. "If we take our foot off the pedal then we'll be down there with the rest of them so we will take absolutely nothing for granted.

"It's been five fantastic seasons since I've come back to the club and I've relished every minute of it.

"There's still work to be done. We're trying our best to bring players in. We're chasing players who will bring us a little bit more quality and will embrace the spirit and the togetherness we have at this club and move it on even further."

Source: Team_Talk