Stoke City news

Pulis warns against complacency

November 27, 2012
By Ian Edwards

Tony Pulis has instructed his players there can be no room for complacency at the Britannia Stadium – despite an impressive unbeaten home record stretching back 13 games.

Premier League
PA PhotosPulis has got Stoke well-established as a Premier League side

• Blog: Getting to know New(castle)

The Stoke manager does not want the well-documented problems of Wednesday night's visitors Newcastle, who have lost their last three games and slipped into the bottom half of the Premier League, to cause his players to lose focus.

Pulis saw Southampton tear Newcastle to shreds on Sunday at St Mary's and he has heard the laments of their manager Alan Pardew, over the lack of depth in his squad to deal with injuries to key players.

He knows Stoke have to maximise every opportunity to play in front of their vociferous home support if they are to continue to develop in the Premier League and wants supporters increase the volume and misery for tomorrow night's opponents.

"I saw Newcastle lose at Southampton on Sunday. It was another example of just how important a home crowd is to a home victory. Our fans have been proving that for many years and it's fantastic they are still doing it after four-and-a-half seasons in the Premier League," said Pulis.

"There is an umbilical cord between our fans and our players and it's a connection that is pivotal to our success, but our fans cannot afford to relax for one second, they must get right behind the players because things can change so quickly in this league.

"Newcastle are extremely dangerous, as they showed when they won here 12 months ago, and that's why I'm asking our fans to lift the roof again."

Pulis' assistant manager David Kemp has confirmed the game has come too quickly for Michael Owen as the striker continues to recover from a hamstring injury, but the former England international is expected to be fit for the weekend visit to West Bromwich Albion.

Pulis is likely to resist the temptation to rotate his side in the middle of three games in eight days. He had anticipated giving Kenwyne Jones a rare start against Newcastle, but Peter Crouch's performance against Fulham at the weekend has forced a re-think.

"I'll take a long, hard look into the eyes of the players before deciding if and what changes to make. Because of how the fixtures have fallen, it might be that I make more changes for the West Brom game than the Newcastle game."