Pulis desperate to defy odds

02 March 2009 09:36
Stoke City manager Tony Pulis believes his side has the spirit and character to successfully avoid an immediate return to the Championship. The Potters hit back from two goals down to score twice in the last four minutes to secure a point from a 2-2 draw with Champions League chasing Aston Villa on Sunday and Pulis is pleased that his side are continuing to defy their critics. He said after the comeback: "It's great that everybody has written us off, apart from our players, supporters and staff. "Outside of Stoke-on-Trent, they've all written us off, and that means there's no pressure from the outside. "But inside the club we're absolutely determined to make sure we stay up. We're just keeping our powder nice and dry to keep winning matches. "Our supporters were again fantastic, but they've been brilliant all season. At 2-0 down they were shouting for a 3-2 victory. "I hold my hand up first half. We came with three forwards because we were determined to play up against them. I wanted to try to keep Villa in their half, but at times we couldn't get out of our half. "They're very good down the flanks but it just didn't work. We got pinned back and what I tried wasn't right. "You just hope they don't score before you can get them back in at half-time and change it back to the way we normally play, but they did. We changed it second half and I'd like to say I'm a genius, but I'm certainly anything but. "I have to take my hat off to the players because they went back out there when they could have crumbled and eventually got what we deserved."

Source: ESA