Stoke City news

Pulis: Stoke support will help Walters bounce back

January 15, 2013
By Ian Edwards

Tony Pulis has no concerns about Jon Walters' psychological state of mind after his nightmare of a 90 minutes against Chelsea at the weekend.

Premier League
PA PhotosWalters scored two own goals and missed a late penalty in the defeat to Chelsea

• Blog: Adam to blame, not Walters

The Stoke City manager has no intentions of withdrawing Walters from the firing line, following his two own goals and missed penalty in Saturday's 4-0 home defeat to the Blues.

Pulis insists Walters is in perfect mental shape to try to bury the embarrassing memories of becoming only the fourth Premier League player to score in his own net twice.

"I haven't got any worries about the state of Jon's mind. Not only he is strong, but he saw and heard on Saturday what people round here think of him," Pulis told the Stoke Sentinel.

"One of the greatest things for me was the way our supporters backed Jon in the last quarter of an hour, then even after the penalty miss they were still singing his name.

"Jon has earned that kind of support over the last couple of years, but it was still as good a performance as our crowd has put in."

Walters may miss out as Pulis contemplates changes to freshen up his side for the FA Cup third-round replay with Crystal Palace, but the Stoke manager remains determined to make it through to the fourth round.

"If Jon doesn't play, it will not be because of what happened on Saturday, that's for sure. There will be a few changes, but certainly not wholesale changes, and the team I put out will be one to try and win the game," Pulis said.

Pulis is concerned that his players will be affected by the atmosphere of a half-empty stadium, with Stoke predicting a low attendance.

"It is a concern because it will be something different that the players will have to get used to. I just hope those fans that do come will make enough noise for two people so that it sounds like a full house," said Pulis.

Thomas Sorensen is set to return in goal following his fine showing in the 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park 10 days ago, but Michael Owen may have to settle for a place on the bench after making his full debut in south London.