Pulis puzzled by Stoke run

Stoke manager Tony Pulis feels the Potters have not picked up their just rewards away from home this season.

Last Updated: 09/03/13 at 13:38 Post Comment

Tony Pulis: Frustrated by away results

Tony Pulis: Frustrated by away results

Pulis' side head to Newcastle on Sunday looking for only a second win on the road in the current campaign, and desperate to end a poor run of form that has seen them record just one win in their last nine Barclays Premier League games.

Pulis said: "I've been disappointed with the results. I don't think the performances have been as bad as what the results have shown, and that's disappointing.

"We've played really well away from home at times and not got the results I think we've deserved, and that's right from the beginning of the season when we played at Reading.

"We've had poor performances - Fulham first half was poor, Swansea was poor and Man City was poor. But we did well at Tottenham, we did well at Liverpool, it's the best we've ever played at Old Trafford, we did really well at Arsenal - it was just a deflected goal late on that meant we lost the game.

"That's the way it goes and you have to take it on the chin and get on with it."

Last weekend's 1-0 loss to West Ham was only Stoke's second defeat of the season at the Britannia Stadium while, in contrast, away from home they have picked up just nine points and their tally of eight goals is the lowest in the league.

In their last six away league games, the Potters have scored only once, but Pulis insisted criticism from fans that they are more defensive away from home is not true.

He said: "We don't do anything different for away games than what we do for home games. We change it around to suit the players that are available. This week we're without (Robert) Huth and we could be without Matty (Etherington) as well.

"We'll try to get a formula to win a game. The lads are desperate to win a game of football, I'm desperate to win a game of football, and that's what we'll try to do."

Huth serves the second game of a three-match ban so Marc Wilson is likely to continue in central defence, while Etherington is battling a back injury. Striker Michael Owen will also hope to be involved against one of his former clubs.

Newcastle are three points behind Stoke but have eased any lingering relegation fears with three wins from their last six league games, including back-to-back successes at St James' Park.

There has been frustration in Tyneside after Newcastle's brilliant season last term, but Pulis expects Alan Pardew's side to finish the campaign strongly.

He said: "Alan won the manager of the year (award) last year and the club had a great season.

"I think he's had two problems really: one has been he had loads of injuries at the beginning of the season, and then they've had to cope with the Europa League, playing on a Thursday and then coming back.

"But in the window he signed some good players and now everybody's fit they've got a very strong squad. They'll get through this season no problems and they'll be a force next year."

Newcastle had a long trip to Russia to face Anzhi Makhachkala in Moscow on Thursday night, coming away with a goalless draw, but Pulis does not expect that to have much of an impact tomorrow.

He said: "I watched the game and they did brilliantly after flying to Moscow and playing on artificial turf.

"Most probably (Yohan) Cabaye, the goalkeeper (Rob Elliot) and (Moussa) Sissoko are the only three that will start against us, the rest will be different players.

"It's a great occasion going to St James' Park, it's a great ground to visit with a full house and it's one of the games in the Premier League you look forward to because you know it's a special place."


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