Pulis: Mick has done a smashing job

09 April 2010 01:05
Stoke boss Tony Pulis believes his Wolves manager Mick McCarthy is one game away from celebrating survival - but wants to prevent it on Sunday.

Stoke are now looking forward to a third season of Barclays Premier League football after breaking the 40-point barrier but Pulis still wants to finish this campaign strongly.

The Potters travel to Molineux on Sunday to face a Wolves side who are also nearing their target of avoiding the drop in their first season back in the top flight.

Pulis is pleased both he and his friend McCarthy are likely to be managing in the Premier League next season.

"I think Mick has done a smashing job," Pulis said. "He is a no-nonsense Yorkshireman.

"He says it how he sees it and I have a lot of time for him.

"We have texted each other a few times. If one of us beats the big teams we text each other, tap each other on the back.

"They most probably need one more win and that will be them (safe).

"It will be a great achievement. Keeping a club up, if you get promoted, is one of the great achievements as a manager.

"I am sure Mick will enjoy his summer.

"We think this will be as tough a game as we will get.

"The crowd will be up for it as they will want to get over the line as quick as they can.

"It is making sure the attitude of our players is right and that we are up for it."

Wolves, in 14th with 32 points, will feel they need more than just one win to guarantee safety and that will add spice to what is already likely to be a fiery Staffordshire derby.

The two clubs enjoy a healthy rivalry and the game will kick off at noon on police advice.

Yet any hostility between the teams did not prevent Pulis from speaking up for McCarthy over his controversial team selection at Manchester United earlier this season.

McCarthy incurred the wrath of the Premier League after resting 10 players at Old Trafford in December in preparation for a more winnable game against Burnley.

Wolves were handed a suspended £25,000 fine for fielding a weakened side and Pulis considered that an over-reaction.

Pulis said: "I have never known a manager who has put a team out that has not wanted to win, especially Mick McCarthy. He is a very competitive person.

"Of the team that is playing well now, I think nine of them played at Old Trafford.

"That just vindicates exactly what Mick was talking about.

"If you are paying people and you have got professional footballers in your squad, who is to say who is good and who is bad and you can or can't play?

"For me, I think it was nothing short of disgraceful what they did.

"Mick has been managing for quite a long time now and has seen the ups and downs. I am pleased they are almost over the line."

Striker Ricardo Fuller is Stoke's main fitness concern with an ankle injury.

The Jamaica international has scored in the last two games, victories over West Ham and Hull, but was forced off at half-time in the second of them.

Pulis added: "We are safe now, but we still desperately want to make sure we finish this year on more points than we did last year.

"We will need everybody fit and available between now and the end of the season."

Source: Team_Talk