Pulis proud of Walters goal
Stoke manager Tony Pulis was delighted a pre-planned set-piece paid dividends in their 1-1 Premier League draw at West Ham on Monday.
Pulis has yet to see his team win on the road this campaign but they held high-flying West Ham after taking the lead through Jonathan Walters in the 13th minute. The goal came from a well-worked corner routine that saw Glenn Whelan roll the set-piece into the path of Walters' run inside the box, with the Republic of Ireland striker firing past Jussi Jaaskelainen. Pulis revealed he had been practising the routine to catch West Ham off guard and was pleased to see it make an impact.
"We have worked on it for the past three days," he said.
"We tried it five or six times and Jonathan Walters has never scored from it so I'm glad he saved it for today.
"I spend a lot of time watching videos and watching teams and I felt if we could do this it would come off. You work on it millions and millions of times - it is lovely when it comes off." Pulis has not seen his side win away in the Premier League since a 2-1 victory over Blackburn on January 2 but was pleased with his players' application.
"First half I thought we played well and created the better opportunities and really we needed that second goal. The worst thing that happened to us was half-time, that took the momentum away from us," he said.
"We started very sloppy in the second half, we invited West Ham onto us and they scored a goal and from that point onwards we need to show a lot of resilience and determination as a group not to concede a second."
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce felt his side were unlucky not to secure a victory that would have seen the Hammers move up to fifth in the table.
"I think in the end we were disappointed we didn't win it, given our second-half performance," he said.
"I think that when you put that much pressure on the opposition second half you have got to try and a be a bit more ruthless in front of goal, a little bit more quality and composure needed and we probably would have won it, but at the end of the day it is another point."
Allardyce was without injured duo Yossi Benayoun and Matt Jarvis for the game but praised his players and reckons quality, rather than quantity, is the key.
"I was very pleased with the second-half performance and the fact the squad has performed very well yet again," he said.
"I think that while our numbers are not great our quality seems to be very good and our defensive unit was very good apart, from that corner."
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