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Potters desperate to beat points tally

05 May 2010 07:52:00

Potters desperate to beat points tally

Ricardo Fuller says he and his Stoke team-mates are "desperate" to better their points tally from last season before the end of the campaign. A year ago the Potters finished 12th after accruing an impressive 45 points in their maiden Premier League season, and since securing their top flight status again this time out, Tony Pulis' side have set their sights on beating that total. On Saturday, they recovered from a 7-0 thrashing at Chelsea the previous weekend to hold Everton to a goalless draw, taking their tally to 44. Currently 13th, Stoke travel to Fulham tonight before their final fixture at Manchester United on Sunday, and Fuller feels it would be a "great achievement" for the club to reach its target with victory at Craven Cottage. "Normally when your task is to stay up and you do that with a few games to go it can be easy to take your foot off the gas and make sure you don't get injured, but we are desperate to get over 45 points," Fuller told www.stokecityfc.com. "A lot of people say that teams in the middle of the league have nothing to play for, but you try telling that to us and the lads at Fulham. "We are desperate to go out there and get the win. Our pride was hurt after what happened at Chelsea, but we restored it against Everton. "Now we just want to get that win to take us on to 47 points. That would be a great achievement for this football club and put us in a great position to go to Manchester United at the weekend and hopefully put in a good performance." Fuller is expecting a difficult match against Fulham, whose domestic form does not seem to have been hampered by their incredible run to the Europa League final and who, like Stoke, could still finish in the top10. "They are a very good team and very hard to play against, especially at their ground," Fuller said. "They have had a remarkable season in reaching the final of the Europa League and doing well in the league so we know it will be hard. "I think people expected them to drop a little bit in the league because of their cup run but you just look at Sunday when they beat West Ham (3-2). "They have a squad full of very good players and they will be up for this game against us too, there is no doubt about that. "Players will be desperate to show what they can do ahead of the final, but we want to end our season on a high and we have the quality in our squad to hurt them too, so I'm sure it will be a very good game." Meanwhile, Pulis has come top of a table of "over-achieving" football managers in research conducted by Dr Sue Bridgewater at Warwick Business School. The Potters boss finished ahead of Steve McClaren, who won the Dutch title with FC Twente at the weekend, and Blackburn's Sam Allardyce in the table, which outlined the extent to which managers outperformed what might be expected of them with the players at their disposal and the finances available. Dr Bridgewater calculated that the most consistent football management over-achiever in the five seasons up to 2008 was Pulis, with the rankings based only on league management performance.


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