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Delap pleased by Potters evolution
Published : 07 Oct 2010 11:33:00
Stoke midfielder Rory Delap believes the players Tony Pulis bought over the summer proves he is trying to evolve the team's style of play. Stoke developed a reputation as being a long-ball outfit in their first season in the Premier League in 2008/09 but Pulis has added the likes of Matthew Etherington, Tuncay, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Jermaine Pennant since then. The Potters currently lie seventh in the table, ninth in the Fair Play league and against Blackburn last weekend played with two out-and-out wingers in Etherington and Pennant. Delap insists their style of play after promotion was neccessary to ensure survival but he is happy they are now looking to play a more expansive game. He told the Stoke Sentinel: "People go on about us being a long-ball team and relying on set-pieces. Well, we had to do a job to get in the league and stay in the league, but now we are looking to progress. "Having players such as Matt Etherington, Jermaine Pennant, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Kenwyne Jones and Ricardo Fuller shows the way we are looking to go. "But it won't be an immediate change, it has to be slow." Some pundits have been so impressed by Stoke's recent form that they have tipped the club to claim a European place this season, but Delap is taking a more cautious view. "The first thing we are concentrating on is staying in the league," he added. "Survival is the main thing, although we want to progress and finish higher than we did last year. If we can do that then the season has to be seen as successful. "People outside the club can carry on talking about Europe, but it is not going to make any difference to us. No one is talking about it around here."