Ewood Park

Next Game

Blackburn v Stoke City

Sunday, 03 August 2014, 15:00

Friendly Match

Last Game

1860 Munich 2 - 0 Stoke City

Saturday, 26 July 2014, 16:00

Friendly Match

Pulis targets Europa League

Stoke boss Tony Pulis is targeting a return to the Europa League following his side's good form this season.

Last Updated: 29/12/12 at 14:09 Post Comment

Tony Pulis: Stoke manager gunning Europa League return

Tony Pulis: Stoke manager gunning Europa League return

Since their promotion four years ago, The Potters have never finished in the top half of the league table, but currently placed eighth, Pulis' men are a mere five points off the top four at the half-way point of the season.

Stoke qualified for Europe as last year's FA Cup runners-up, but the Welshman believes they have every chance of earning a spot on the merit of their league position.

Pulis said: "It's something we should aim for and I'm sure players and fans alike would relish the challenge if we ever got there again.

"That's not to overlook how tough it was with the number and timing of the games and how that affected our league form.

"It takes a lot to get used to games coming thick and fast on a Thursday and then a Sunday, not to mention the fact they kindly gave us away games in the league after virtually every away game in Europe - and they were long trips.

"But having the odds against us is what gets us going as a club, and that includes our fans."

However, Pulis has warned his players they cannot afford to be complacent after their Boxing Day victory over Liverpool extended their unbeaten league run to ten games, one short of equalling the club's record.

Stoke host struggling Southampton at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday and Pulis insists his side must keep their focus.

"In many respects the Southampton game will be the toughest of the two because of the raised expectations," he said.

"Southampton are giving it a good go and they will be a big challenge for us, especially if we are not up for the game.

"The other night was tremendous for everyone, and the players deserved their praise for the wonderful effort they put in.

"But that is gone and now we have to raise ourselves for another challenge."

Suspended

Defender Geoff Cameron, along with captain Ryan Shawcross, is suspended after reaching five bookings for the season.

The US international is disappointed to be missing out but he is keen to capitalise on the good start the club have made.

"I want to play in every game, just as every other player in the squad does," he told the club's official website.

"Somebody will come into the side and hopefully they will do well and help the lads get the three points on the board.

"We have done well over the first part of the season, been hard to beat and picked up a good number of points, so there is confidence within the locker room.

"It's important to keep working hard though and making sure we keep doing the right things, like we have done over the last few months.

"If we do that, then we can have another good half of the season."

Don't miss any live and exclusive football coverage this festive season. Click here to visit Sky Sports' Festive Calendar

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e made his power play to try and get Sheikhy to raise his wages or trade him to PSG. PSG were probably not interested and he is stuck with no cake and no vacation. @Jay_D> Surely you jest about FFP being real, right? All Platini is doing is making billionaries pay measly fines, so he and his cronies can get rich. If a fool can pay 50 mil for David Luiz, he will happily pay some fine to UEFA. FFP has failed as for it to succeed UEFA had to take it...

Synergy
Toure: I am staying with City

G

uess we can expect Toure's explanation of his behaviour around the same time Pete Townshend publishes his book then.

ceeps
Toure: I am staying with City

D

amn you Yaya, don't scare me like that! I only ate the icing. I didn't eat the soft and scrumptious middle - I will buy you another cake!

MCFC87
Toure: I am staying with City

Footer 365

Premier League: Manchester United's Juan Mata backs Louis van Gaal's winning mentality

Juan Mata has hailed Louis van Gaal and believes that the Dutchman will bring a winning mentality to Manchester United.

Transfer news: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger prepared to take gamble on Calum Chambers

Arsene Wenger admits signing Calum Chambers from Southampton is somewhat of a gamble, but one he believes will pay off.

Friendly: Raheem Sterling earns Liverpool 1-0 pre-season win over Olympiakos in Chicago

Raheem Sterling scored a lone early goal as Liverpool beat Olympiakos 1-0 in Chicago in the International Champions Cup.

Mail Box

Reasons To Believe That Van Gaal Will Be The Best

Some supporters sound oh so confident on Louis Van Gaal's excellence. Plus thoughts on shirt sales, best signings, football sevens and a good deal more besides...

Are Pre-Season Tours Really A Problem?

Are pre-season tours really a problem? Liverpool went to Australia last summer and it didn't prevent them from having a good season. Plus, thoughts on LvG and keepers...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property