Pulis: Stoke not safe yet

Tony Pulis has conceded he will not relax until Stoke finally hit the magical 40-point mark to guarantee their survival.

Last Updated: 26/04/13 at 13:24 Post Comment

Tony Pulis: Looking to hit the magical 40-point mark

Tony Pulis: Looking to hit the magical 40-point mark

Tony Pulis has conceded he will not relax until Stoke finally hit the magical 40-point mark to guarantee their Premier League survival.

Heading into last Saturday's Premier League clash at QPR, Pulis was under severe pressure as his side had been sucked into the relegation fight on the back of eight matches without a victory.

But a 2-0 win finally brought relief to all within the club, leaving them now just three points shy of the 40 Pulis firmly believes will guarantee the club a sixth successive season in the top flight.

Pulis, who has this week denied reports he will walk out on Stoke the moment they are assured of safety, knows neither he nor his players can rest until survival is secure.

Ahead of Norwich's visit to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, Pulis said: "We've been in a 'must-win-game' situation for the last three or four matches now.

"We've four to go, and we need to get a result in one of those.

"The three points against QPR helped, but we still need to get to 40 points, which has been the target from the beginning of the season.

"I personally think we will be safe with 40, and our goal difference is good, so that's almost an extra point for us.

"The sooner we get to that then the more relaxed we will be, and with a lot more smiles on people's faces. The pressure comes off."

More than anything, the result has lifted Pulis' players after weeks of putting in performances, but failing to get the results.

Pulis added: "The players got what they deserved last weekend.

"I keep saying it, but we've played better away from home but not got the results, which eats away at confidence.

"Winning at QPR has given them the confidence and belief again that we took into games, but never took out of them because of results, and results are everything.

"We needed those three points, but we still need three more, and until we get them no-one will be relaxing here."

With QPR and Reading all but condemned, Stoke find themselves in a group of seven teams yet to hit the 40-point mark and all eager to avoid the third trapdoor to the Championship.

Assessing the situation, Pulis said: "There are still six or seven clubs in it, with every one of them desperate to get the points to make sure they are secure for next year.

"Nobody is past the post yet in that bottom seven or eight clubs. We all have a lot of work to do because anybody who does not yet have 40 points, they will all be keen to get to that number.

"We just have to make sure we stay focused, get the three points we need, and if we can do that then we'll be a Premier League club for the sixth year running."

Pulis has at least been lifted by the return to form of striker Peter Crouch, who netted only his second goal since the end of September in the win at Loftus Road.

Pulis feels for a long time Crouch suffered after losing three teeth in a collision with Fabricio Coloccini in a 2-1 home victory over Newcastle in November, following which he also required surgery to his jaw.

"He's had a rough time. I don't think people understand how bad that smack in the mouth was. It was a bad injury, and he suffered with it," said Pulis."After missing a couple of games recently he looked really fresh, and played really well for us on Saturday.

"For the last couple of weeks he has been back to his best."


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