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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Pulis hits back at critics

Tony Pulis has defended the style of his Stoke side after seeing them slide into the Premier League relegation scrap, insisting change does not happen overnight.

Last Updated: 10/04/13 at 15:03 Post Comment

Tony Pulis: Has defended under-fire Stoke's style

Tony Pulis: Has defended under-fire Stoke's style

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The Potters are 15th in the table and just three points clear of the drop zone after losing six and winning just one of their last eight league games.

A 3-1 defeat at home to Aston Villa on Saturday piled more pressure on Pulis' men, as well as fuelling criticism of their style of play and long-ball tactics.

Pulis says the club do not have the funds to overhaul their side with big-money signings and insists changes will come gradually.

He told The Sun: "A lot people have an opinion about my style and, yes, I do like to move the ball quickly.

"My preference is to play with width and have people down the sides with pace.

"I want us to get the ball out to players who can excite the crowd.

"I want to encourage wingers to run down the pitch and get crosses in and I like to see centre-forwards in the box putting those chances away.

"But it's about who you can afford to bring in.

"If I had an open chequebook and someone said you can have Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, people of that ilk, fine - they would suit my style brilliantly. But we're Stoke City and we work within a budget we can afford."

He added: "You don't just wake up one morning and say 'We're changing our entire style of playing today'.

"It takes time for a club to evolve - three, four, maybe even five years in some cases.

"You can't just sign two players and say we're a different side now."

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